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Carbon Neutral Concrete

Concrete. It is the world’s most widely-used building material. It is estimated that the cement and concrete sectors account for roughly 5 to 7% of global carbon emissions.

The large carbon footprint of cement and concrete stems in part from the high energy required to heat the kilns used to make cement. Roughly half to two-thirds of carbon emissions come from the actual chemical process of cement making.

Carbon Neutral Cement

Anticipated population growth suggests that the production of cement and concrete will grow by up to 38% by 2050, which means that to lower the carbon footprint of the built environment the production and use of cement and concrete must be made more efficient and climate-friendly.

The world’s leading cement and concrete and cement companies are working to drive down the CO2 footprint of their operations and products, to achieve carbon-neutral concrete by 2050.

Coupled with the need for more resilient buildings and infrastructure to protect our cities and the natural environment from the impacts of climate change, achieving this goal will require major technological innovations not only to reduce the release of CO2 in the first place but also through processes that capture and sequester carbon permanently.

Policymakers, governments, investors, researchers, innovators, and financial institutions also have a role to play to put in place the resources, tools and policies needed to deliver the goal of carbon neutral concrete.

The Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA) has published its Climate Ambition Statement, which sets a target of delivering carbon-neutral concrete by 2050.

The Roadmap will follow a circular economy approach by taking into account:
  • Emissions reduction in cement and concrete production
  • Savings delivered by concrete during its lifetime
  • Reduced demand through promoting design
  • Material and construction efficiencies and improved standards
  • Reuse of whole concrete structures,
  • design for disassembly and reuse of elements
  • Accounting for the CO2 savings at the end of life including concrete recycling and enhanced carbonation
Read more about Carbon Neutral Concrete
  • CCGA Climate Ambition Statement
  • Solutions for Carbon-neutral Concrete in U.S. Pavements, MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub.
  • Concrete Action for Climate (CAC), World Economic Forum,
  • Cement Producers Are Developing a Plan to Reduce CO2 Emissions, Scientific American, By Chelsea Harvey, E&E News on July 9, 2018,
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