Low Carbon Concrete Routemap

As COP26 focuses minds on the path to net zero, the Low Carbon Concrete Group publishes the executive summary for its roadmap towards reducing the material’s environmental impact.

Reducing concrete's environmental impact
Reducing concrete's environmental impact

Concrete is the most used material on the planet. It is strong, durable and the constituents are abundant almost everywhere. We rely on many forms of concrete each day, from pavers that we walk on to high-performance structural concrete used in our tall buildings and infrastructure. It is an incredible material that has supported the development of our societies and improved the quality of life for billions of people.

However, the active ingredient in concrete – cement – is a potent source of greenhouse gas emissions. The typical UK consumption of cement per year is equivalent to the emissions of 7.2 million cars. As the infrastructure industry works towards a zero-carbon future, how can we continue to use concrete, given the environmental impact of its active component?

The Low Carbon Concrete Group (LCCG), formed of professionals from the concrete and cement industry, academia, engineers and clients, is seeking to address this question. Brought together by the Green Construction Board in its role as the sustainability workstream of the Construction Leadership Council, the LCCG has been working together since January 2020 with a bias towards action.

Ahead of the publication of its route map towards net zero, which is being published in partnership with ICE and is due to be unveiled in early 2022, the group has published the report’s executive summary.

This highlights the seven strands of knowledge that need to be developed concurrently to reduce the embodied carbon of concrete. It also suggests a framework of opportunities for further engagement, plus actions that could be taken by industry and government.

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