Last blog, we talked about carbon neutral concrete and how it relates to the overall path to carbon neutrality. Today, we will explore a little bit about the official Roadmap to Carbon Neutrality, coined by the Portland Cement Association. This Roadmap to Carbon Neutrality outlines actions to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. Since the concrete industry accounts for over 8% of worldwide emissions, the supply chain in the US wants to be the catalyst for change. Read more to learn more about their goals!
The Roadmap Overview
As we talked about in the last blog, when concrete is made, large amounts of carbon are released into the atmosphere. This contributes to climate change. However, there are three stages during the process that PCA has identified that can reduce carbon emissions. These categories are “Production”, “Construction” and “Everyday.”
At the cement plant, there are a few ways to reduce emissions. First, replacing raw materials like limestone with decarbonated materials already eliminates a lot of the starting emissions. However, limestone is not going to be phased out right away. Therefore, carbon capture, utilization and storage technology will also be implemented.
When designing and building structures with the newly made concrete, the construction part of the process can also be optimized. Reducing waste from excess materials and over-design is the first step, but increasing the use of recycled materials and renewable energy is the next step.
Concrete is all around us and one of the most versatile materials in the world. Maintenance levels are low, it’s easily recyclable, and actually absorbs carbon dioxide. In fact, 10% of the emissions produced can be reabsorbed into exposed concrete surfaces. And, as we learn more about concrete being a carbon sink, that number will increase.
PCA has also added some solutions they believe will help the chain. Ranging from short term to long term goals, these include using recycled materials, alternative fuels and carbon capture. Every year, the US uses enough concrete to almost build the equivalent of New York City. Therefore, these steps are important to sustaining the industry.
Excited for the carbon neutrality?
The Roadmap to Carbon Neutrality is an exciting development in the future of the industry. Did you know that Elston Materials already takes steps to reduce our carbon footprint? Contact us here to take green steps towards your next project!