Momentum building for carbon emission-free asphalt pavement

By |  December 20, 2022

National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) logo

The Road Forward, the National Asphalt Pavement Association’s (NAPA) sustainability initiative, attracted support over the last several months from a number of materials-producing companies and equipment manufacturers.

The goal of The Road Forward is to achieve net-zero carbon emission asphalt pavements by 2050.

Producing companies that joined the initiative this year include Colas USA, Construction Partners Inc. (CPI), CRH, Granite Construction, Holcim US, Peckham Industries and Summit Materials. Astec Industries and Wirtgen America are also on board with the initiative.

Why sustainability

John Harrington, president and CEO of Colas Inc., says The Road Forward will help his company achieve its goal of reducing carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030. According to NAPA, Colas is already utilizing emulsions, recycling asphalt pavements, and developing and testing sustainable products to reach its mark.

“By partnering with The Road Forward and NAPA, Colas USA is publicly declaring its commitment to improving business operations while collaborating with other leaders in our field,” Harrington says. “Sustainability and social responsibility are not a competition, but rather an action we must all do together in order to make the greatest impact.”

John Harper, senior vice president at CPI who served NAPA as chairman in 2019, is currently focused on the connection between sustainability and workforce development. To Harper, the workforce is passionate about creating a more sustainable future.

“Our industry must invest in new technologies and processes to stay ahead of the curve while attracting future generations of workers to support us in creating sustainable transportation infrastructure,” he says.

According to Jay Moreau, CEO of U.S. aggregates and construction materials at Holcim, building a net-zero future is a tremendous challenge but one that must be met.

“We are always in search of ways to strategically partner with organizations that hold the same values as we do to drive a more sustainable and climate-conscious focus across all our operations,” Moreau says.

CRH’s Ron Sines says decarbonization efforts can deliver the added benefit of reducing the cost of asphalt pavement materials or improving their performance – or both.

“By formally joining The Road Forward initiative, CRH will help further advance emissions-reduction technologies and practices, generating value for pavement owners, industry and other stakeholders,” says Sines, vice president of sustainability and decarbonization at CRH.

Manufacturer partners

Sustainability is also a core principle for Astec and Wirtgen, according to the companies. Both expressed their excitement to join The Road Forward and propel their sustainability goals.

“We have a responsibility to do what is right for society and our planet, and that includes doing our part to help combat climate change,” says Jaco van der Merwe, group president at Astec. “Our partnership with NAPA and The Road Forward reaffirms our public commitment to design and manufacture heavy equipment that helps promote a healthy environment for generations to come.”

Says Jim McEvoy, president and CEO of Wirtgen America: “We look forward to building The Road Forward together by contributing our leadership and experience with sustainable practices to achieve net-zero carbon emission asphalt pavements by 2050.”

Featured Photo: Dosmass/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

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