New industry data suggests that CO2 emissions from the production of cement and concrete in 2020 were 22% lower than 1990 levels – even better than the 19.2% percent decrease recorded in 2019.
The data was published in a report from the Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA), one year after the launch of its Net Zero 2050 initiative.
Furthermore, the report points towards a significant shift in the sector’s energy efficiency, which has seen a year-on-year increase from 18.5% to 19%.
Another noteworthy figure is the 17% reduction in the use of fossil fuels, compared to 1990 levels.
Together, GCCA members have announced and are already working on a total of 35 carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) projects, which has certainly contributed to the CO2 emissions reduction across the cement and concrete industry, and over 100 more are in the offing.
The GCCA’s efforts have also resulted in the establishment of national roadmaps and conversations with governments in the global south, e.g., Colombia, India, Egypt and Thailand, thanks to the association’s Net Zero Roadmap Accelerator initiatives.
Another initiative that was launched this year, Open Challenge, is bringing together tech-startups from around the world to work together with GCCA member companies to help develop climate solutions and decarbonize the industry.
The Open Challenge initiative has brought about the formation of six consortia and new partnerships that are yet to be announced later this month.
In a comment on these promising results, the GCCA acknowledged the industry’s need to actively encourage and engineer low-carbon products and processes.
But it also pointed out that industry efforts alone won’t suffice to successfully decarbonize its processes and “policy actions on local, national and international levels” will be required to help make green concrete and cement economically viable.