Cement is the basic ingredient of concrete, our end product that is the second most widely used material in the world after water. Additionally, there are no substitutes for the key attributes of concrete: strength and resilience. As a result, concrete has a critical role to play in the transition to a Low-Carbon Economy.
We have the aspiration to deliver net-zero CO2 concrete by 2050, which will contribute to the development of climate-smart urban projects, sustainable buildings and climate resilient infrastructures. The technology to reach this goal does not exist today but we intend to work with the industry, governments and multilateral agencies to develop the means to achieve this important goal of net-zero concrete.
The presence of a robust and sustainable cement and concrete industry is closely linked to the economic development of local regions and countries, employing local communities and boosting local economies. We are a vital component in strengthening and building local economies by delivering access to sustainable building materials, promoting skilled jobs and generating stable economic activity.
The opportunity for reducing emissions is not limited to the production process but to the whole life-cycle of our products. The biggest contribution of concrete is in the in-use phase due to its unique inherent characteristics: strength and durability, versatility, thermal mass, low maintenance needs, fire-resistance, energy efficiency and lower CO2 emissions over its full life-cycle compared to other construction materials. Although more data, transparency and robust life-cycle standards are still needed to cover all the emissions in the built environment, preliminary independent studies suggest that, when all those emissions are taken into account, concrete’s embodied carbon footprint could be up to 6% less intensive than that of wood products.