The Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA) announced today the launch of the GCCA Global Net Zero Roadmap, highlighting the steps the industry will follow to decarbonize the built environment, including goals to reach net zero concrete by 2050, and an interim target of cutting CO2 emissions by 25% by 2030.

The GCCA, which represents 40 of the largest global cement and concrete companies, including industry leaders Holcim, HeidelbergCement, and Cemex, stated that the actions outlined in the roadmap will prevent almost 5 billion tonnes of carbon from entering the atmosphere by 2030, compared to a business-as-usual scenario.

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Building materials companies are coming increasingly in focus in the fight against climate change, due to the carbon intensity of their primary products. Cement production, an ingredient in concrete, accounts for approximately 8% of global carbon dioxide emissions, with over 900 kg of CO2 emissions generated for every 1000 kg of material produced.

Albert Manifold, GCCA President and Group Chief Executive of CRH plc said:

 “This Roadmap represents a clear commitment to positive change across our industry and will allow us to sustainably transition to net zero while continuing to supply society with the concrete it needs to grow and prosper.”

The roadmap follows the launch by GCCA members last year of a joint industry 2050 Climate Ambition, marking the first time the cement and concrete industry stated a collective ambition for a carbon neutral future, as well as the announcement from last month that the GCCA had become the first global ‘heavy’ industrial accelerator for the UN’s global Race to Zero.

The GGCA roadmap is built around a seven-point plan including key steps to reduce the amount of CO2 intensive clinker in cement, cut the use of fossil fuels in manufacturing, and accelerate innovation in products, process efficiency, and breakthrough technologies including carbon capture.

The GCCA said that it is also calling on governments, designers, and contractors to support the industry’s transition through the greater development of critical technologies such as carbon capture and storage, and reforms to public works procurement policy to encourage the use of low-carbon cement and concrete products.

Thomas Guillot, GCCA Chief Executive, said:

 “Global cooperation on decarbonizing concrete is a necessity, as countries developing their infrastructure and housing will be the biggest users of concrete in the coming decades. I am proud of the commitment made by our members today to take decisive action and accelerate industry decarbonization between now and 2030, an important milestone towards the ultimate goal of net zero concrete. I envision a world in the not too distant future where the foundation of a sustainable, zero carbon global economy will literally be built with green concrete.”

António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, said:

 “I invite all cement companies to join this vital endeavour. The transition cost should not be borne only by the first movers. I call on all governments and relevant actors to align public and private finance and procurement to create strong markets for net zero-aligned industrial production and develop national sectoral roadmaps towards net zero emissions. Three quarters of the infrastructure that will exist in 2050 has yet to be built. Without credible action now, future generations will have no liveable planet to build upon. The United Nations stands ready to support you in accelerating the transformation of your industry.”

Click here to view the roadmap.