The Portland Cement Association (PCA) has announced its Roadmap to Carbon Neutrality, an ambitious journey to carbon neutrality across the cement and concrete value chain by 2050. Given the significant role of cement in society and anticipated infrastructure development, it is a critical step that the industry act now to further reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs) and create sustainable building solutions in the decades to come. The Roadmap demonstrates how the U.S. cement and concrete industry, along with its entire value chain, can address climate change, decrease GHGs and eliminate barriers that are restricting environmental progress.
“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,” says PCA President and CEO Michael Ireland. “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 Roadmap outlines a portfolio of reduction strategies and immediate opportunities across the various phases of the built environment: production at the cement plant, construction including designing and building, and everyday infrastructure in use. Across this full cement-concrete-construction value chain, the Roadmap recognizes five main areas of opportunity: clinker, cement, concrete, construction and carbonation (using concrete as a carbon sink). Each phase of the value chain is integral to reaching the goal and can unlock unique and specific pathways to carbon neutrality, including actions such as reducing CO2 from the manufacturing process, decreasing combustion emissions by changing fuel sources and shifting toward increased use of renewable electricity.
“Drawing on their expertise from producing the majority of cement in the U.S., PCA member companies felt strong partnership across the industry to identify the challenges manufacturers face and the opportunities and potential solutions in achieving carbon neutrality,” says Ron Henley, PCA chairman of the board and president of GCC of America Inc. “We also understand the unequivocal value external collaborators have in implementing and moving sustainable solutions forward, and we are committed to working alongside government, science and technology leaders to bring our Roadmap to life.”
PCA is committed to gathering a coalition of industry experts, researchers, policymakers and companies along the value chain to make this Roadmap a reality. Collaboration with leaders is imperative to realize the multitude of solutions that must be developed across policies and regulations, technology and innovation and demand generation, creating both near- and long-term reduction opportunities.
Many of the solutions included in the PCA Roadmap are products, technologies and approaches that exist today – and by bringing together a variety of collaborators, PCA intends to ensure the adoption of these solutions on a broad scale. This will accomplish near-term benefits while constantly striving toward the long-term success of reaching carbon neutrality.
“PCA is actively engaging with organizations beyond the industry to bring the right people to the table to accelerate and advance solutions to reach carbon neutrality,” says Massimo Toso, PCA climate and sustainability council co-chair and president and CEO of Buzzi Unicem USA. “Our Roadmap is an open-source, collaborative effort and includes stakeholders directly involved in the value chain as well as those not directly involved in the value chain.”
“Achieving carbon neutrality across the entire value chain by 2050 will require industry development of an entirely new set of metrics, means and methods to track the industry’s Roadmap progress,” says Eric Holard, PCA climate and sustainability council co-chair and U.S. CEO of National Cement Company. “Once we have established effective measurement, PCA companies are committed to transparently demonstrating progress.”
Additionally, cement and concrete companies worldwide have committed to achieve carbon neutrality across the value chain by 2050. Addressing climate change is a global task, but each country presents specific opportunities and challenges, and the PCA Roadmap presents a plan for the U.S. cement and concrete industry. PCA is aligned with the Global Cement and Concrete Association’s Roadmap.
PCA’s comprehensive industry-wide approach will allow America’s cement manufacturers to continue to deliver this critical material, while empowering the industry and others to collaborate toward a shared mission of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.