Sustainability is a high priority for project teams in the United States, as evidenced by the continued strong growth of the green building movement. From government officials with major transportation projects to building property owners, everyone is increasingly focused on reducing the carbon footprint of the built environment.
The call for action is now and there are so many new products, tools and technologies that can help ready-mix producers answer the call for a net zero future. Here are ways that we’re here to help:
Envirocore Cements Offer Performance With a Lower Carbon Footprint
In response to ever-increasing market demand for performance and sustainability, Lafarge and Holcim rebranded their portfolio of blended cements and supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) as Envirocore™ Cements.
“Concrete is the most widely-consumed material after water, so we consider it our responsibility to do everything we can to lower the carbon footprint of the cement we produce,” said Patrick Cleary, senior vice president of Sales, US Cement. “Our cement organization has invested heavily in offering blended cements and SCMs to customers for two decades. This rebrand signifies that the time for change in the building industry is now, and we stand ready to provide these proven solutions,” he added.
Envirocore Cements include OneCem® Portland Limestone Cement, MaxCem® Blended Cement, Forticem® Pozzolan Cement and NewCem® Slag Cement. Many of these products incorporate SCMs, byproducts from other industries that offer sustainability and performance advantages for those who construct buildings of all kinds. Their use as a partial replacement for portland cement not only results in more durable, high-performance concrete, but also lowers energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. For every ton of clinker replaced by SCMs, CO2 emissions are reduced by approximately 0.8 tons.
Cleary said that while the building industry is considering how to lower its carbon footprint with new technologies and solutions, the building community should look to finely-ground limestone and blended cements as proven solutions that have been somewhat underutilized.
“The truth is, the industry is still in the early stages of embracing these solutions in the United States. We want to partner with our customers to help accelerate adoption,” said Cleary.
Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) Accurately Detail Global Warming Potential
In response to growing concerns about climate change and resource shortages, members of the design and build community—along with numerous green building standards and codes—are increasingly requiring clear, consistent, and transparent information on the environmental impact of construction materials.
In July 2020, Lafarge and Holcim announced a new program that will bring greater transparency to its carbon footprint through product and plant specific environmental product declarations (EPDs). These declarations, much like nutritional labels, detail the environmental impact of building materials.
“We recognize the responsibility to not only reduce our own carbon footprint, but to lead the US cement industry in the same direction. While continuing to support the Portland Cement Association (PCA) in developing industry average EPDs, we also will be taking the disclosure of environmental impact reporting to a new level with the development of EPDs for cement products manufactured at all our US facilities. This will provide project teams a sense of security on the specific environmental impacts of the product that they are working with,” said David Diedrick, director of Quality and Product Performance for US Cement.
The company’s goal is to publish product and site specific EPDs for all 13 cement plants in the US —from its standard Type I/II cements to its high-performance blended cements. All EPDs will conform to the newly released North American Cement Product Category Rules (PCR 2020e) and will be posted after they are verified and certified by ASTM.
With this product specific EPD initiative, Lafarge and Holcim look to maintain leadership in the US cement industry, building on more than 20 years of experience manufacturing and marketing blended cements.
EcoLabels Help Ready-Mix Producers Make the Better Choice
Early next year, LafargeHolcim in the US will launch EcoLabels to transparently communicate the environmental benefits of its low-carbon building solutions. The label will apply to all its products that comply with its criteria, including lower CO2 footprint and recycled content. Building on LafargeHolcim’s net zero pledge, this EcoLabel supports the company’s ambition to accelerate the adoption of low-carbon products and make it easy for ready-mix producers to make the better choice.
EcoLabel applies to all cement and concrete with at least 30% lower CO2 footprint compared to local industry standard or 20% recycled content.
If You Have Questions, Ask the Experts
We’re here to help and partner with you to help navigate the future of building materials. Ask your sales representative about our low-carbon offerings and our technical services today.