Portland Cement Association Marks One Year of Progress on Roadmap to Carbon Neutrality

SOURCE: Portland Cement Association | October 28, 2022

Washington, D.C. – Marking the first time what has been referred to as a “hard to abate emissions sector” has come together to call for a unified approach toward decarbonization, the Portland Cement Association’s (PCA) Roadmap to Carbon Neutrality celebrates one year of progress.

With the demand for infrastructure never greater, it’s vital for the built environment to advance in a fashion that is sustainable and climate adapted. This need spotlights the importance of the progress PCA – representing America’s cement manufacturers — has made on its efforts to reduce emissions. The U.S. cement industry’s ambitious plan incorporates the entire cement-concrete-construction value chain, vital for producing lasting change. 

“I’m proud that our industry is taking this on,” said Mike Ireland, President and CEO of PCA. “Together we’ve made progress on a bold yet achievable pathway to carbon neutrality. We are creating a win-win scenario to meet demand for durable infrastructure that also has a low carbon footprint, which will result in a more sustainable and resilient world for the next generation.” 

Notable achievements in the past year across the value chain include:  

  • Multiple cement manufacturers in the U.S., with support from the Department of Energy, have begun pilot projects around emerging technologies that capture carbon before it is emitted and reusing it for another purpose or storing it – commonly referred to as carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS). 
  • Increased acceptance and use of portland limestone cement (PLC), a product that reduces the carbon footprint of concrete by about 10 percent. In addition to private building projects, PLC has been approved by 44 state departments of transportation, some of the largest consumers of cement. 
  • 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 built environment that is durable and also sustainable,” said Ron Henley, President, GCC of America and Chairman of PCA. “We are demonstrating that the cement and concrete industry can address climate change, reduce greenhouse gases, and eliminate barriers that are restricting environmental progress.”

The industry is pushing innovation and calling on stakeholders for more collaboration. As legislators and regulators have a role to play in the Roadmap, PCA is working with Congress and federal agencies to maximize the benefits of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act, both of which provide significant funding for the clean technologies the cement industry requires to reduce emissions. 

PCA is also advocating for the modernization of existing legislation – such as 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 concrete – all of our schools, roads, airports and hospitals have their foundations in concrete,” said Filiberto Ruiz, President and CEO, Votorantim Cimentos North America and Vice Chairman of PCA. “If consumers demand low-carbon cement and concrete, we can accelerate research and production.” 

PCA’s comprehensive approach will allow for the industry to continue aligning with private partners, government, industry and technology leaders on solutions, regulations and policy changes, empowering the industry and others to realize this shared societal mission. 

The Portland Cement Association (PCA), founded in 1916, is the premier policy, research, education, and market intelligence organization serving America’s cement manufacturers. PCA members represent the majority of U.S. cement production capacity, having facilities across the country. The association promotes safety, sustainability, and innovation in all aspects of construction, fosters continuous improvement in cement manufacturing and distribution, promoting economic growth and sound infrastructure investment. For more information, visit www.cement.org.

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