While it is a key ingredient in shaping our built environment, cement accounts for more than 7 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. For a better frame of reference, if the cement industry were a country, it would be the third largest emitter in the world – behind China and the US.
The good news is that one of the sector’s major behemoths, HeidelbergCement, which employs nearly 60,000 people in 60 countries, has recently pledged to bring its emission reduction targets in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement, in a first for the industry. The construction giant committed to slash its production’s direct carbon footprint by 15 percent per ton by 2030 from 2016 levels, and to cut indirect emissions, such as its electricity supply, by 65 percent per ton within the same time-frame. The commitment is part of the company’s greater vision to produce concrete that’s entirely carbon-neutral by 2050, the latest.