Association commits to deliver carbon-neutral concrete by 2050

The Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA) pledges to deliver carbon-neutral concrete by 2050. Photo courtesy GCCA
The Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA) pledges to deliver carbon-neutral concrete by 2050.
Photo courtesy GCCA

Forty of the world’s top cement and concrete companies have unveiled a joint industry ‘2050 Climate Ambition.’ The statement demonstrates their commitment to drive down the carbon dioxide (CO2) footprint of the world’s most used manmade product, with an aspiration to deliver carbon-neutral concrete by 2050.

The initiative was launched by the Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA) on behalf of its member companies. It is the first time it has come together globally to state a collective ambition for a carbon-neutral future.

“As we face the challenges for future generations and begin global economic recovery, concrete will be even more critical to building the sustainable world of tomorrow,” said Dinah McLeod, GCCA chief executive. “That is why we are making this commitment today, in order that our crucial industry aligns with global targets, including the Paris Agreement.”

GCCA member companies are currently developing a 2050 concrete roadmap that will set out the detailed actions and milestones the industry will enact to achieve its ambition. This will include working across the built environment value chain to deliver the vision of carbon-neutral concrete in a circular economy, whole life context. The 2050 concrete roadmap is due to be published in the second half of 2021.

The GCCA 2050 climate ambition outlines how in the coming years the industry can achieve carbon neutral concrete by:

  • eliminating direct energy-related emissions and maximizing the co-processing of waste from other industries;
  • reducing and eliminating indirect energy emissions through renewable electricity sources;
  • reducing process emissions through new technologies and deployment of carbon capture at scale;
  • reducing the content of both clinker in cement and cement in concrete, as well as more efficient use of concrete in buildings and infrastructure;
  • reprocessing concrete from construction and demolition waste to produce recycled aggregates to be used in concrete manufacturing; and
  • quantifying and enhancing the level of CO2 uptake of concrete through recarbonation and enhanced recarbonation in a circular economy, whole life context.
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