The Portland Cement Association (PCA), which represents cement manufacturers in the United States, announced an industry-wide ambition on Nov. 17 to reduce carbon emissions and further address the impacts of climate change. According to the association, PCA will develop a road map by the end of 2021 to facilitate its member companies achieving carbon neutrality across the concrete value chain by 2050.
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. According to PCA, this road map will help position the cement and concrete industry as a leader in the construction sector in delivering cleaner and greener infrastructure across the country.
"As the second-most used material on earth and a cornerstone of our economy, we understand the critical role cement and concrete play in our nation's future, and we are committed to an industry-wide effort that achieves carbon neutrality," Tom Beck, chairman of the PCA and president of Chesterfield, Missouri-based Continental Cement, says. "We look forward to proactively working with stakeholders across the built environment, policymakers and environmental groups toward this ambitious target."
"For decades, cement manufacturers have undertaken efforts to aggressively address their environmental footprint," Rick Bohan, vice president of sustainability for the PCA, says. "Developing a road map to carbon neutrality by 2050 further demonstrates our industry's commitment to be a part of the solution and tackle this global issue."
According to the association, PCA's road map will help accelerate alignment throughout the industry. More specifically, the road map will identify how to address the challenges that stand in the way of driving down emissions to achieve carbon neutrality, such as developing advanced technologies to reduce energy consumption and developing and adopting regulations to allow for such technologies.
"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," Mike Ireland, president and CEO of the Portland Cement Association, says. "Our members are committed to delivering products that meet those needs as well as drive down emissions and achieve the industry's environmental goals."
Since 1990, PCA says the industry has reduced energy consumption by 35 percent, emissions intensity by 11 percent and company-led improvements have led to the increased use of alternative fuels, such as industrial byproducts that otherwise would end up in landfills.