CAC releases Concrete Zero
By Adam FreillConcrete Construction
Canada's cement and concrete industry launches action plan aiming to make the nation's cement industry net-zero by 2050.
The Cement Association of Canada (CAC), together with its members and partners in the concrete sector, have released Concrete Zero, an action plan aimed at making cement net-zero by 2050.
The industry has a goal of 40 per cent emissions reduction by 2030 as part of its “roadmap to net-zero carbon concrete by 2050,” a joint government-industry collaboration. CAC says the industry is also well on its way to transitioning to lower-carbon fuel sources, producing carbon-reduced cements and concretes, and using clean technologies. The cement and concrete industry was also the first to join Canada’s Net Zero Challenge – putting it at the leading edge of transparently disclosing and verifying carbon emission reductions.
“Our net-zero action plan is ambitious and cannot be achieved by industry action alone. Working with government, industry, and partners in the design, architecture, and construction industry will be essential for success,” stated Adam Auer, CAC president and CEO. “Canada’s cement and concrete industry are committed to doing our part to help Canada build a better, cleaner future. Working together, we can deliver Concrete Zero.”
The industry has identified five priority areas that will help it reach its net-zero goal, including eliminating the use of coal and petroleum coke as fuel sources for clinker production, while increasing the use of lower-carbon and alternative fuels. The use of engineered biomass and green hydrogen will help drive down emissions, says CAC. By 2050, 100 per cent of fuel will come from non-fossil-based sources, adds the organization.
Efforts will also be made to reduce the volume of clinker used to produce cement. This, says CAC, will achieve a 1.5 Mt CO2 emissions reduction over the course of the decade. After 2030, the use of innovative materials, natural pozzolans, and beneficiated waste and recovered materials will increase.
The industry is also increasing the use of supplementary cementitious materials in the form of fly ash and ground granulated blast-furnace slag. Along these same lines, the industry will also be introducing ground limestone, recycled concrete fines, calcined clays, and other new promising materials.
Canada is also set to be the site of North America’s first commercial deployment of a full-scale carbon capture and storage project at a cement plant, which will allow for carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) capacity.
The association will also continue to advocate for performance-based codes, standards and specifications, procurement policies, and increased material efficiency in construction.
“Concrete Zero tells the journey we have been on as an industry. It outlines the progress we’ve made and shows that higher emissions reductions are possible,” stated David Redfern, chair of the CAC board. “Our action plan lays the foundation for what we will do next and our role in delivering leading solutions to climate change.”