Australia’s cement and concrete industry has declared its ambition to deliver net zero carbon cement and concrete to Australian society by 2050.
In a statement released jointly by Cement, Concrete & Aggregates Australia (CCAA) and the Cement Industry Federation (CIF), the industry has committed to working towards decarbonising cement and concrete in the construction supply chain.
Concrete is the world’s most widely used building and construction material and is vital to securing a resilient built environment that is sustainable for life.
With demand for durable and sustainable housing as well as public infrastructure expected to rise strongly in response to population and economic growth, the demand for concrete will increase, and along with it, CO2 emissions.
While concrete itself has relatively low CO2 emissions, the making of its key ingredient, cement, is a carbon-intensive process.
CIF Chief Executive, Margie Thomson said the cement and concrete industry has been an early actor in reducing emissions from its operations, with the cement industry having reduced its CO2 emissions by 25 per cent since 2000.
“Cement substitutes including blast furnace slag from steel production and fly ash from coal fired electricity production are increasingly being used to produce lower carbon concretes with enhanced product performance,” she said.
“Increasing use of alternative fuels that would otherwise go to landfill and the widespread adoption of technical process improvements have also assisted the industry’s progress on its path to decarbonisation.”
In releasing the landmark Climate Ambition Statement, Mr Ken Slattery, CCAA Chief Executive Officer said the announcement reinforces that the industry recognises the challenges of climate change.
“The Statement outlines the industry’s commitment to work towards decarbonisation throughout the value chain, with a strong emphasis on technological, regulatory, structural, and behavioural change,” Mr Slattery said.
“Overcoming the challenges presented by climate change and adaptation are essential to the sustainability of our industry.
“Achieving these significant decarbonisation objectives will require changes to policy settings, material technology and design practices which can only be achieved through collaboration across the construction supply chain.
“This Statement represents a call to action to governments, regulators, procurers, researchers, designers, builders and customers to work with the industry to achieve this important goal.”
Ms Thomson said that the industry has also funded an independent assessment of the technology pathways available to decarbonise cement and concrete in construction.
“This will soon be available and will form the basis of collaboration with our many industry stakeholders,” she said.