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Cement, concrete industries getting behind climate change action

By |  January 29, 2021

LafargeHolcim-logoLafargeHolcim joined the MIT Climate and Sustainability Consortium (MCSC) as a founding member, representing the building materials industry, to accelerate climate action through innovation.

LafargeHolcim, which not only produces construction aggregate but also cement and ready-mixed concrete, joins a range of companies in other sectors to work with MIT’s research teams to develop scalable solutions to tackle climate change.

Headshot: Jan Jenisch

Jenisch

“I am committed to building a net-zero future, driving innovative and sustainable building solutions that work for people and the planet,” says Jan Jenisch, CEO of LafargeHolcim. “With the urgency of today’s climate crisis, no single organization can tackle it alone. That’s why I am proud to be joining MIT’s alliance of like-minded industry leaders and academic partners to scale up our climate action together.”

The MIT School of Engineering leads the MCSC, which will engage students, faculty and researchers from across the institute. According to LafargeHolcim, MCSC members will work to accelerate large-scale, real-world solutions that address the threat of climate change.

Goals of the MCSC include climate change mitigation, lowering barriers to technology adoption, speeding the retirement of carbon-intensive activities, directing investment where it will be most effective, and rapidly translating best practices across industries.

LafargeHolcim says joining the consortium represents a step in its commitment to build a net-zero future.

PCA and climate change

Photo: PCA logo

With the Biden administration underway, cement and concrete industry stakeholders such as LafargeHolcim are proactively stating their commitment to a net-zero future.

The Portland Cement Association (PCA), for example, welcomed the Biden administration’s plan to re-engage with international trading partners in the Paris Agreement to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.

“Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time,” says Michael Ireland, PCA president and CEO. “The cement and concrete industry have an important role to play in decarbonizing the manufacturing sector while providing the building materials necessary for a safe, resilient and sustainable economy.”

During the Trump administration, PCA and its member companies set a goal of reaching carbon neutrality across the cement and concrete value chain by 2050. PCA says it is currently developing a roadmap to achieve the necessary reductions.

“The PCA roadmap will build on the industry’s long history of continuous improvement in energy efficiency and product performance, says Rick Bohan, PCA vice president of sustainability. “Reaching net-zero emissions will require cooperation from manufacturers, suppliers, technology developers, policymakers and the building community.”

Federal policymakers will have a particularly important role to play in the years ahead, PCA says.

“Some of the technologies needed to tackle industrial decarbonization are still in the research and development phase,” says Sean O’Neill, PCA senior vice president of government affairs. “Governmental support is needed to accelerate both development and deployment. We also need to make sure federal policies support industrial decarbonization without undermining the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers.”

Kevin Yanik

About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is the editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry magazine. Yanik can be reached at 216-706-3724 or kyanik@northcoastmedia.net.

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