World association

Cement Association Decarbonization Update

Adobe Stock Photos | By Franco Nadalin

A year after the Portland Cement Association released its roadmap to carbon neutrality, the PCA and the World Cement Association have made positive remarks about the progress. However, much work can still be done today that can have a positive impact on both earnings and emissions.

The 5th Annual Conference (WCA) took place September 25-28 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, allowing industry leaders and stakeholders to have an open discussion and honest assessment of the biggest challenges facing the cement industry is facing. The World Cement Association is the premier international cement association and represents the cement industry and its stakeholders. This year’s theme focused on reducing carbon footprint and costs, but many have concluded that the biggest factor limiting industry decarbonization is not technology, but the sector’s willingness to act. now.

“There are actions all cement companies can take today to reduce emissions and reduce costs at the same time, it’s a win-win for the climate and the business,” says Ian Riley, CEO of WCA . “Conference attendees welcomed the roadmap and I believe it will have prompted leadership teams to rethink their approach and the urgency of the challenge.”

“There are many things that can be done today with a significant positive impact on the bottom line and on emissions,” says Amr Nader, A³&Co. Co-founder and CEO of. Supporter and partner of the conference, A³&Co. explained that the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions by 47% – through operational excellence, product portfolio optimization, use of alternative fuels and calcined clear cement or belite.

“I’m proud that our industry is tackling this,” said PCA President and CEO Mike Ireland. “Together, we have moved forward on a bold but achievable path to carbon neutrality. We are creating a win-win scenario to meet the demand for sustainable infrastructure that also has a low carbon footprint, which will result in a more sustainable world. and resilient for the next generation.”

Economic incentives are a major factor. According to McKinsey, about 6.9 kg of CO2 are emitted per dollarmost major construction sectors (that’s five times more than steel). They promote government incentives such as carbon pricing and green procurement for public projects to encourage change.

Despite global recognition of the need for immediate action and financial incentives, some notable progress includes:

  • Production of cement. With an average CO2 footprint of 486 kg per ton of cement, the Indian company Dalmia Cement (Bharat) Ltd. achieved the lowest emissions of any major cement company in the world, according to Mahendra Singhi, CEO of the company. “Our efforts have helped us achieve one of the lowest carbon footprints in the global cement industry, while being one of the most profitable cement companies in India,” says Singhi.
  • Carbon capture. Several cement manufacturers in the United States, with support from the Department of Energy, have launched pilot projects around emerging technologies that capture carbon before it is emitted and reuse it for other purposes or store it. (aka Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS).
  • PLC acceptance. Increased acceptance and use of Portland Limestone Cement (PLC), a product that reduces the carbon footprint of concrete by approximately 10%. PLC has been approved by 44 state departments of transportation, some of the largest consumers of cement.
  • Request. Growing consumer demand for sustainable concrete, with companies specifying low-carbon materials for major construction projects as part of their own sustainability goals.

“Through this roadmap, we are creating a sustainable and equally sustainable built environment,” said Ron Henley, President of GCC of America and President of PCA. “We demonstrate that the cement and concrete industry can combat climate change, reduce greenhouse gases and remove barriers that limit environmental progress.”

The industry is pushing innovation and calling on stakeholders for more collaboration. Because lawmakers and regulators have a role to play in the roadmap, APC is working with Congress and federal agencies to maximize the benefits of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and to the Inflation Reduction Act, both of which provide significant funding for the clean technologies that the cement industry needs to reduce its emissions.

PCA also advocates for the modernization of existing legislationlike the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act – to accelerate cement and concrete’s path to carbon neutrality and ensure concrete made with cement remains the sustainable building material of choice.

“Everything we do is thanks to the concreteall of our schools, roads, airports and hospitals have their foundations in concrete,” says Filiberto Ruiz, President and CEO of Votorantim Cimentos North America and Vice President of PCA. “If consumers demand low-carbon cement and concrete, we can accelerate research and manufacturing.”

PCA’s comprehensive approach will enable industry to continue to align with private partners, government, industry and technology leaders on solutions, regulations and policy changes, enabling industry and others to carry out this shared societal mission.

The PCA Roadmap to Carbon Neutrality is free to download and view.