Cement leaders document Roadmap to Carbon Neutrality progress

Sources: Global Cement and Concrete Association, London; Portland Cement Association, Washington, D.C.; CP staff

Portland Cement Association Chairman Ron Henley (GCC America) told a New York Climate Week gathering that U.S. producers have exceeded expectations outlined nearly one year ago with release of the PCA Roadmap to Carbon Neutrality. The document offered specific carbon dioxide emissions reduction opportunities along a Clinker, Cement, Concrete, Construction and Carbonation value/process chain. Henley attributed early Cement headway to uptake of portland-limestone cement among public and private construction parties coast to coast. 

“The U.S. cement and concrete industry seldom finds itself in the limelight,” added PCA President and CEO Mike Ireland, taking the podium in a venue along New York City’s Madison Avenue. “That’s changing now as we are at the heart of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act,” provisions of which “will hasten our pace to carbon neutrality.” To illustrate a key Roadmap premise—the universal nature of greenhouse gas emissions management—he brandished a New York City snow globe, noting how no developed area on earth has a dome to contain carbon dioxide.

PCA Vice Chairman Filiberto Ruiz (Votorantim Cimentos North America) stressed the importance of downstream parties’ actions in realizing Roadmap goals. “We need to change the way buildings are designed and [emphasize] performance-based specifications” and, in concrete mix designs, “optimization of materials.” Performance-based specs, he contends, will position U.S. practitioners to move from mix designs where the “clinker factor,” or portland cement dosage, shifts from a typical 85-90 percent range in the binder schedule to a 70 percent benchmark common in overseas concrete markets.  

PCA and the Global Cement and Concrete Association presented the 90-minute “Towards Net Zero: Cement and Concrete Action and Progress – 2050 Roadmap ‘One Year On'” in a hybrid live-virtual format to a global audience, assembled by New York Climate Week organizer, London-based Climate Group. The Associations released their similarly-structured Roadmaps to Carbon Neutrality in October 2021. 

“You have seen the roadmaps, commitments and passions,” observed GCCA Chairman Jan Jenisch (Holcim Group) in concluding “Towards Net Zero” remarks. “Decarbonization is on our minds. We are accelerating the process now and making it happen. Let’s team up and engage with all construction value chain stakeholders—producers to regulators to customers.”

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