A consortium of construction firms, property developers, and building engineers have pledged to drive down the carbon emissions of concrete.
The new ConcreteZero initiative consists of 17 companies that have pledged to bring the proportion of “low-emissions” concrete they use to 30% by 2025 and 50% by 2030. Major European construction firms including Laing O’Rourke, Mace, Skanska UK, and Willmott Dixon; property owners and developers including Canary Wharf Group and Grosvenor; and engineering firms including Buro Happold and Thornton Tomasetti are aiming to use only zero-carbon concrete by 2050.
The 2050 goal is a high mark that will likely be hard to reach. Cement production accounts for between 7% and 8% of global carbon emissions today. With increasing demand for concrete for construction, and the carbon-intensity of global cement production growing, emissions from concrete production have been rising in recent years.
But options to reduce the carbon-intensity of concrete are broadly available, practical, and cost-effective today, building decarbonization experts say. ConcreteZero is modeled on similar Climate Group initiatives including a pledge to boost the use of renewable energy to commit to sourcing more low-carbon steel.