Low carbon construction: how is it going?

As we approach the year anniversary of COP26 and when the “net zero by 2050” roadmap was launched, it has been announced this has already had an impact on the way construction materials are being used!

There has been a 22% reduction in CO2 per tonne of cementitious material, which is an increase from 19% in 2019. There has also been a 17% reduction in fossil fuel use compared to the 1990s baseline. 

The Global Cement and Concrete Association even said the industry is making “good progress and is on track to play its part in the sustainable world of tomorrow.”

With more and more projects in the pipeline for carbon capture, utilisation and storage, we think real change is coming about for the industry.

National Highways is one of the companies leading this change, setting up a “Carbon Academy” so their workers are taught “green skills” and can make the Lower Thames Crossing project as green as possible. 

This isn’t exclusive to the UK either – there are many countries in the global south, including Egypt, India, Thailand and Colombia whose governments have laid out their roadmaps to help their construction industries decarbonise in this time. 

There are many ways to ensure that projects are as low carbon as possible – this includes making low carbon cement manufacturing investable, stimulating demand for such low carbon materials, and creating the infrastructure needed for a circular manufacturing environment. 

Although the construction industry is in its early days of making such changes, we think sooner rather than later that this will be second nature to ensure projects are low carbon or even net zero.