US: The Portland Cement Association (PCA) has published a roadmap to carbon neutrality for the cement and concrete sectors by 2050. It says that the strategy document 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. It added that the document is a ‘major step’ towards engaging US policymakers, industry partners and non-government organisations.
“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,” said PCA President and chief executive officer, Michael Ireland. “The 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 PCA’s roadmap outlines a number of reduction strategies across the various phases of the built environment including production at cement plants, construction including designing and building and everyday infrastructure in use. It also recognises five main areas of opportunity: clinker; cement; concrete; construction; and carbonation (using concrete as a carbon sink).
Notably goals include a reduction of coal and petcoke use at cement plants to 10% in 2050 from 60% at present, a clinker ratio of 75% in 2050 from 90% at present and a reduction of the CO2 intensity of concrete of 60% by 2050. The roadmap also noted the necessity of carbon capture and storage/utilisation (CCUS) for reducing CO2 emissions from cement production. However is pointed out that there are no commercial-scale CCUS installations at any cement plant within the US, location and permitting challenges remained and that infrastructure investment would be required to deal with the captured CO2.