Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Net zero concrete: industrial initiative sets clear near term targets

© Shutterstock / creator12Post Thumbnail

A new initiative, ConcreteZero, has seen the concrete industry commit to the use of 100% net zero low-emissions concrete by 2050. While there are increasing net zero commitments across industry, this stands out as a bold bid due to its short term targets of using 30% low-emission concrete by 2025 and 50% by 2030.

Overall, the initiative is being led by the non-profit climate and energy specialist The Climate Group, in partnership with the Green Building Council (GBC) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBSCD).

What is fascinating is the acceptance that no supply chain can be transformed without collaboration. Industrial partners in the initiative include Buro Happold, Skanska UK, Laing O’Rourke, Canary Wharf Group, Ramboll, Carey Group and Wilmot Dixon.

Concrete responsible for 8% of global emissions

Concrete production contributes to 8% of global annual carbon emissions and has a significant role in terms of embodied carbon in buildings. The chemical process used to make traditional limestone cement is very energy intensive, emitting significant levels of CO2. Inclusion of cement in the concrete mix drastically increases the level of carbon emissions associated with the end product.

Projections suggest that construction equivalent to an area the size of Paris will be built globally every single week for the next 40 years, and the demand for concrete is significant.

Concrete is likely to remain a key material in the delivery of buildings, and it is therefore imperative to find ways to drive down its embodied carbon to zero.  The concrete industry becoming net zero is vital to halving carbon emissions by 2030 and limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C.

Net zero means we must avoid a race to the bottom on price and product

One of the greatest challenges to supply chain transformation lies in preventing a ‘race to the bottom’ on price – in the same way that sustainable and ESG investments favour sustainable choices, the concrete industry needs a framework to encourage positive action.

At the same time, lack of clarity about the eventual demand for low emissions concrete has proved a barrier to large-scale investment in new technologies and processes.

What the ConcreteZero commitment does is provide a clear signal as to the industry’s direction of travel. As such, it provides not only a pathway for the sector to engage with the risks around climate change, but also a clear sign as to demand levels. While this is clearly positive, it is actually in another area where the members can have most impact, and that is in the realm of data.

Critical to define what is meant by low emissions concrete

A real problem has been the lack of a definition of exactly what net zero or low-carbon concrete actually is. The founding members of ConcreteZero are addressing this by making a commitment to measure and report on the carbon emissions associated with the concrete they use. This data will enable the industry to set a global standard of what low-emission and net zero concrete is, giving another clear signal to suppliers and policymakers.

ConcreteZero founding members include:

  • Buro Happold – an integrated consultancy of engineers, consultants and advisers
  • Byrne Bros – UK’s premier concrete frame contractors
  • Canary Wharf Group – commercial and residential property developer, owner and manager
  • The Carey Group – construction business that operates across the UK and Ireland
  • Clancy Group – one of the largest privately owned construction firms in the UK
  • Grimshaw Architects – architects and designers
  • Grosvenor – international property developer, manager and investor
  • Joseph Homes – multi-award-winning property developer
  • Laing O’Rourke – international engineering and construction company
  • Mace – global consultancy and construction firm
  • Morrisroe – UK’s leading concrete specialists
  • Multiplex Construction Europe – leading construction company
  • Ramboll – global engineering, architecture and consultancy company
  • Skanska UK – one of the world’s leading project development and construction groups
  • Thornton Tomasetti – leading global scientific and engineering consulting firm
  • Wilmott Dixon – UK’s leading independent construction and property services
  • WSP – plan, design and manager long lasting engineering solutions

The industry collaboration is modelled on similar Climate Group initiatives including a pledge to boost the use of renewable energy in partnership with CDP, the RE100, and a low-carbon steel programme to source low-carbon steel, SteelZero, run with Responsible Steel.

Tags

More from SG Voice

Latest Posts