As we say goodbye to the year 2020, we look forward to the future with hope, encouragement and optimism. In the wake of a year that delivered wildfires, hurricanes, floods, drought, other extreme weather events, on top of the effects of a global pandemic, we see our industry playing a vital role in our world going forward.
As the construction industry continues to drive down the carbon intensity of their operations, projects and products, the cement and concrete industries have announced the development of a global, industry-wide roadmap to reduce carbon emissions and further address the impacts of climate change.
Industries, environmental groups and local governments across the U.S. are increasingly working to mitigate the effects of climate change and create a more sustainable future, and the global roadmap positions the cement and concrete industry as the leader in the construction sector in delivering cleaner and greener infrastructure.
Concrete is the most widely utilized building material on the planet. Second only to the use of water, concrete plays a pivotal role in the world’s future and therefore the global cement and concrete industry is committed to an effort that achieves carbon neutrality by the year 2050. Such an ambitious goal will require proactive coordination with stakeholders, policymakers, environmental groups, researchers, and consumers across the built environment.
In coordination with the Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA), the Portland Cement Association (PCA), the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA), and other regional cement and concrete associations, the Northwest Cement Council (NCC) member companies are aligned with the global goal of achieving carbon neutrality across the concrete value chain by 2050.
Cement manufacturers have undertaken efforts to aggressively address their environmental footprint for decades. They have effectively implemented the use of alternate fuels from other industrial byproducts, implement waste-stream byproducts to replace virgin resources, upgraded to state-of-the-art equipment that reduces emissions and conserves energy, and have researched and developed new cement products with reduced embodied carbon.
The cement industry has a strong culture of innovation and is in constant pursuit of finding more innovative and efficient ways of producing high-quality cement that is required for the resilient construction of things such as homes, highways, airports, hospitals, schools, dams, safe drinking water, and other requirements of society. Since 1990, the industry has reduced energy consumption by 35% and emissions intensity by 11%.
The development of the global Roadmap to Carbon Neutrality by 2050 further demonstrates our industry’s commitment to be a part of the solution and to work collaboratively with all stakeholders to achieve this.
Concrete provides energy efficiency and lower life-cycle costs, is long-lasting, durable and stands up against and provides resilience to natural and man-made disasters. By continuing to drive down emissions and striving for carbon neutrality, cement manufacturers are expanding the positive impact that concrete has on our communities. It is critical to building a sustainable future. The global Roadmap to Carbon Neutrality by 2050 accelerates alignment throughout the industry.
Cement and concrete have been pivotal in building resilient communities that enable people to live safe, productive and healthy lives via structures that withstand natural and man-made disasters. The cement and concrete industries are committed to delivering products that meet those needs as well as drive down emissions and achieve the industry’s environmental goals.