Concrete Zero action plan sets emissions reduction goals

concrete zero aims to reduce emissions

The Cement Association of Canada has released Concrete Zero, an Action Plan to ensure Canada’s cement and concrete industry meets its net-zero emissions target by 2050.

The industry has charted a course towards achieving its goal of 40 per cent emissions reduction by 2030 as part of the Roadmap to Net-Zero Carbon Concrete by 2050, which is a joint government and industry collaboration. 

“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,” said David Redfern, Chair of the Board, Cement Association of Canada.

“Our Action Plan lays the foundation for what we will do next and our role in delivering leading solutions to climate change.”

The Canadian cement and concrete industry is also the first to join Canada’s Net Zero Challenge, which aims to disclose and verify carbon emission reductions.

The Concrete Zero plan

To reach net-zero, the industry will focus its efforts on five priority areas, including the elimination of coal and petroleum coke as fuel sources for clinker production. Instead, the concrete industry will increase the use of lower-carbon and alternative fuels, including engineered biomass and green hydrogen. By 2050, 100 per cent of fuel mix will come from non-fossil-based sources.

As well, Concrete Zero includes a plan to reduce the volume of clinker used to produce cement, which will achieve a 1.5 tonne carbon dioxide 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 to meet the reduction goal. 

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The use of supplementary cementitious materials will also increase in the form of fly ash and ground granulated blast-furnace slag, as will introducing ground limestone, recycled concrete fines, calcined clays, and other new promising materials.

Carbon capture will also play an important role in the Concrete Zero plan. Part of that effort will be to build North America’s first commercial deployment of a full-scale carbon capture and storage project at a cement plant by 2030.

The Cement Association of Canada also plans to advocate for performance-based codes, standards and specifications, procurement policies and increased material efficiency in construction.

“Our Net-Zero action plan is ambitious and cannot be achieved by industry action alone,” said Adam Auer, President and CEO of the Cement Association of Canada.

“Working with government, industry, and partners in the design, architecture, and construction industry will be essential for success. 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.”