PCA unveils carbon neutrality roadmap

The Portland Cement Association (PCA) has unveiled a roadmap to achieve carbon neutrality across the cement and concrete value chain by 2050.
Concrete Plants, Equipment & Applications / October 21, 2021
By Ben Spencer
Portland Cement Association Roadmap to Carbon Neutrality cement-concrete-construction value chain
PCA roadmap recognises five main areas of opportunity across the full cement-concrete-construction value chain (© Ekays | Dreamstime.com)

The PCA says its Roadmap to Carbon Neutrality demonstrates how the US cement and concrete industry, along with its entire value chain, can address climate change, decrease greenhouse gases and eliminate barriers that are restricting environmental progress.

PCA CEO Michael Ireland says: “Cement and concrete have been pivotal in building resilient, durable and sustainable communities that enable people to live safe, productive and healthy lives via structures that withstand natural and man-made disasters. PCA is uniquely positioned to lead the industry-wide ambition to achieving carbon neutrality and enable our member companies and industry partners to continue building a better future.”

The roadmap outlines a portfolio of reduction strategies and immediate opportunities across the various phases of the built environment: production at the cement plant, construction including designing and building, and everyday infrastructure in use. 

It recognises five main areas of opportunity across the full cement-concrete-construction value chain: clinker, cement, concrete, construction and carbonation (using concrete as a carbon sink). 

According to PCA, each phase of the value chain is integral to reaching the goal and can unlock specific pathways to carbon neutrality. These include actions such as reducing carbon dioxide from the manufacturing process, decreasing combustion emissions by changing fuel sources and shifting toward increased use of renewable electricity.

Ron Henley, chairman of PCA board of directors, says: “Drawing on their expertise from producing the majority of cement in the US, PCA member companies felt strong partnership across the industry to identify the challenges manufacturers face and the opportunities and potential solutions in achieving carbon neutrality. We also understand the unequivocal value external collaborators have in implementing and moving sustainable solutions forward, and we are committed to working alongside government, science and technology leaders to bring our roadmap to life.”

Additionally, the association is committed to gathering a coalition of industry experts, researchers, policymakers and companies along the value chain to make the roadmap a reality.

The PCA insists collaboration with leaders is imperative to realise the multitude of solutions that must be developed across policies and regulations, technology and innovation and demand generation, creating both near- and long-term reduction opportunities.

Many of the solutions included in the roadmap are products, technologies and approaches that exist today. The PCA intends to ensure the adoption of these solutions on a broad scale by bringing together a variety of collaborators. 

This will accomplish near-term benefits while constantly striving toward the long-term success of reaching carbon neutrality, the association adds. 

Massimo Toso, PCA climate and sustainability council co-chair, says: “PCA is actively engaging with organisations beyond the industry to bring the right people to the table to accelerate and advance solutions to reach carbon neutrality. Our roadmap is an open-source, collaborative effort and includes stakeholders directly involved in the value chain as well as those not directly involved in the value chain.”

Eric Holard, PCA climate and sustainability council co-chair, says: “Achieving carbon neutrality across the entire value chain by 2050 will require industry development of an entirely new set of metrics, means and methods to track the industry’s Roadmap progress. Once we have established effective measurement, PCA companies are committed to transparently demonstrating progress.” 

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