Manufacturers aim for carbon-neutral cement by 2050

1 September 2020

Manufacturers aim for carbon-neutral cement by 2050

An article by edie here has reported that a group of the world’s leading producers of cement have issued a new industry commitment to deliver carbon-neutral concrete by 2050. The Global Cement and Concrete Association (“GCCA”) have launched the ‘2050 Climate Ambition’ on behalf of its member companies which sees 40 global cement companies including Cemex, Dalmia Cement and Heidelberg commit to the initiative.

The commitment will focus on eliminating energy-related emissions, deploying carbon capture technologies and prioritising a circular economy, with signatories pledging to reuse and recycle concrete used in the construction of buildings, whilst also harnessing the material’s ability to absorb and store carbon from the atmosphere.

This is a great step forward for a construction material which is historically known for being a high carbon emitter. According to edie’s article, the global cement industry is estimated to account for 6-7% of man-made greenhouse gas emissions annually and, given its reliance on heat, transport and coal-based materials, it is considered to be a challenging product to neutralise from a carbon perspective. GCCA members are, however, developing a roadmap for the 2050 ambition for publication in the latter half of 2021.

This is a great development for the construction sector which is increasingly looking at ways of minimising carbon emissions throughout its supply chain, and is a useful indication to highlight how certain sectors which are notorious for their carbon emissions can seek to set the bar high in terms of meeting net-zero.