Portland Cement Association (PCA) President and CEO Mike Ireland, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Ed Sullivan, and Senior Vice President of Sustainability Rick Bohan unveiled the near-term goals and 2022 focus for the cement and concrete industry’s Roadmap to Carbon Neutrality, a plan to make the entire value chain carbon neutral by 2050, at the 2022 World of Concrete in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Following the launch of the Roadmap in October 2021, PCA’s 2022 priority for advancing the journey to value chain carbon neutrality will be to focus on the metrics it needs to measure progress in the concrete and construction phases and calling on stakeholders to help define these metrics and remove barriers. PCA will also factor in the importance of defining green procurement measures and education, especially with increased demand from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), and the need to view this procurement in life cycle and sustainability terms.
“Cement and concrete play a critical role in future-proofing our communities against natural and man-made disasters, and we are in a moment where we have both the opportunity and the duty to do so sustainably. PCA has charted a pathway to carbon neutrality through the Roadmap for the entire concrete value chain. Our nation’s cement manufacturers have come together to reduce the sector’s CO2 emissions, but achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 requires collaboration across the entire value chain,” said PCA President and CEO Mike Ireland.
“Securing the future of the cement and concrete industries as the leading building material in this new era of sustainability means we must innovate and collaborate our way to carbon neutrality. PCA members are already working together on steps to further reduce cement industry emissions, but the next critical step is for the concrete sector to join us in this vital effort. It is on us to proactively make these changes, as the world will not wait for our industries to catch up,” said PCA VP of Sustainability Rick Bohan.
Ed Sullivan, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist also previewed his annual economic forecast of the U.S. economy, with specific focus on the cement industry and the increasing demand for construction materials accelerated by the recently passed IIJA. In particular, Sullivan noted:
- Through November of 2021, the U.S. as a whole saw a 3.6% growth in cement consumption, largely driven by the residential sector
- With mortgage rates rising, looking ahead to 2023-2024, cement consumption will be driven by non-residential and public works
- The country is poised to spend $1.2 trillion on new and rehabilitated infrastructure projects, consuming 46 million metric tons of cement over a five-year program
- Over a quarter of that amount will go to roads & bridges and resiliency
“The IIJA is extremely important to maintain healthy growth rates in cement consumption,” said Sullivan. “Given the timing, significant infrastructure spending will materialize just as higher interest rates slow private sector construction, particularly in housing.”