Sarah Petrevan, Cement Association of Canada, explains how Canada’s cement and concrete industry aims to reach net zero by 2050.
Concrete is the most widely used building material in the world. It is necessary for roads, bridges, buildings, manufacturing, renewable energy generation, resource industries, food production, and many other sectors and activities that sustain quality of life. Concrete is durable and helps the built environment withstand the worst impacts of climate change.
The cement industry is also the world’s third-largest industrial energy consumer and the second-largest industrial CO2 emitter. In Canada, cement manufacturing accounts for 9.7 million t of CO2, or about 1.4% of Canada’s emissions, in 2020.
Across Canada there are 15 cement plants shipping cement to more than 1100 associated facilities. Collectively, the industry supports about 158 000 direct and indirect jobs across the country and contributes CA$76 billion in direct, indirect, and induced economic benefit to the Canadian economy.
Canada’s cement industry, like its partners around the world, is committed to act and ready to collaborate to reduce the industry’s emissions. In May 2023, The Cement Association of Canada (CAC) released ‘Concrete Zero: Canada’s Cement and Concrete Industry Action Plan to Net-Zero’, which shows that emissions reductions (using a 2020 baseline) of 40% by 2030, 59% by 2040, and net zero by 2050 are possible.
CAC’s Action Plan is transparent and accountable, with progress reports to be released every five years. The plan also does not include the purchase of any offsets to meet emissions reduction goals.
Reaching net zero
The Action Plan is based on the entire cement and concrete value chain, identifying 5 Cs, for each stage where emissions reductions will come from. The 5 Cs stand for: clinker, cement, concrete, construction, and carbon uptake. To reach net zero by 2050, every stage of the value chain must be decarbonised.
There is no silver bullet, no one magic solution that will bring the industry to net zero. Rather, it will take numerous, repeated efforts. In detailing the path forward, the CAC has chosen a cautious approach; the Action Plan uses the carbon-reduction levers available today. While the path to 2030 is clear, more research and development in clinker chemistries, carbon utilisation technologies, materials innovation, and clean fuel sources like hydrogen is needed in order to achieve net zero by 2050.
This article outlines many of the steps that will be taken to reach net zero by 2050; including reducing clinker to cement ratios; using clean fuels; deploying carbon capture, utilisation, and storage (CCUS); and working with partners in architecture, engineering, and construction to achieve efficiency in both the design and use of concrete in infrastructure projects.
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Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/the-americas/25092023/closing-in-on-canadas-climate-commitments/
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