Cement producers delineate net zero action plan vs. roadmap

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Sources: Cement Association of Canada, Ottawa; CMCM staff

The action plan is posted here.

The Cement Association of Canada’s new action plan, Concrete Zero, spells carbon emissions reduction measures up and down the industry’s value chain and builds on formal benchmarks that CAC and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada officials outlined last fall in Roadmap to Net-Zero Carbon Concrete. To reach net zero by 2050, cement and concrete producers detail five priority areas in the new action plan:

• Coal, petroleum coke sunset. Eliminate the use of fossil fuels in cement clinker production, replacing them with lower carbon alternatives, including engineered biomass and green hydrogen. By 2050, 100 percent of calciner and kiln fuel mixes will come from non-fossil-based sources.

• Curtailing clinker. Achieve a CO2 emissions reduction of 1.5 million metric tons over the course of the decade by lowering the volume of cement clinker—i.e. clinker factor—as a percentage of overall binder in concrete mixes. Canadian concrete practitioners’ use of innovative materials, natural pozzolans, and beneficiated waste and recovered materials will especially rise after 2030. When measured against a business as usual scenario for concrete mix designs, a reduction of 4.8 metric tons of CO2 emissions will be realized by 2050 from clinker factor optimization.

• Supplementary cementitious materials. Increasing the use of SCM in the form of fly ash and ground granulated blast-furnace slag will also play an important role in Concrete Zero goal attainment, as will introducing ground limestone, recycled concrete fines, calcined clays, and other new promising materials in concrete or mortar binders. 

• CCUS. Work toward building carbon capture and utilization or storage capacity. Part of that effort will be to build by 2030 North America’s first commercial deployment of a full-scale carbon capture and storage at a cement plant. CAC member Heidelberg Materials North America, along with Canadian government officials, recently outlined such a project for the producer’s Edmonton mill.

• Enabling measures. Advocate for performance-based codes, standards and specifications, procurement policies, and increased material efficiency in construction.


With an toward 2050 plant operations and construction practices, Concrete Zero calls cement producers and downstream to action.

“Our net-zero action plan is ambitious and cannot be achieved by industry action alone. Working with government, industry, and partners in the design, architecture, and construction industry will be essential for success,” says CAC President and CEO Adam Auer. “Canada’s cement and concrete industry are committed to doing our part to help build a better, cleaner future. Working together, we can deliver concrete zero.”