Lafarge says market demand for and the adoption of low carbon dioxide (CO2) cements across North America remains inconsistent despite the availability of environmentally friendly cement products.
According to Lafarge, the decisions around material selection are generally left up to local specifiers, who set the construction standards, and customers, who have “deep experience” with limited product mixes.
The cement industry is now seeing a significant change in how specifiers, architects and customers are looking at building materials through the lens of environmental impact, the company adds.
The OneWay Forward campaign highlights five leaders in the engineering and building industry who are advocating for the use of environmentally friendly materials, specifically OneCem, across a variety of built applications.
Rene Thibault, head of North America, says: “Concrete is the most widely-consumed material after water, and so we consider it our responsibility to do everything we can to lower the carbon footprint of the cement we produce. Our goal is to educate and encourage architects, engineers, contractors and ready-mix producers to adopt more sustainable products in order to lower the industry’s carbon footprint.”
Travis Butler, CEO of Butler Concrete in Victoria, says: “The built environment plays a central role in the transition to a low carbon economy. The most cost-effective CO2 reduction will be achieved by improving the carbon efficiency of buildings - and we can do that with OneCem.”
The company insists that standard cement – also called ordinary portland cement – typically comprises 90-90% clinker, which is the component that is made when limestone is superheated.
The process of superheating causes CO2 emissions. Therefore, the companies' focus has been to find ways to lower the percentage of clinker per tonne, thereby lowering the CO2 footprint and global greenhouse gas emissions.
Portland limestone cement, (OneCem) is a blended cement manufactured with up to 15% per tonne of finely ground high quality limestone.
The “Heroes” featured in this campaign share their motivation for choosing lower carbon solutions, as well as their experiences using OneCem. They include ready mix concrete producers, structural engineers and precast concrete materials producers.
The organisation has made sustainability their guiding principle, from ultra low carbon cements such as EcoPlanet, through to continual validation with external parties via EPDs.
“This is how we build now,” Thibault continues. “We owe it to ourselves, future generations, and the communities where we live to maximise the use of low carbon cement wherever we can.”