What is Canada’s ‘Roadmap to Net-Zero-Carbon Concrete’?

On May 31st, it was announced that the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Cement Association of Canada (CAC) Chair, Marie Glenn and Michael McSweeney, President and CEO, affirmed the partnership between the Government of Canada and Canada’s cement sector to support the development and implementation of a ‘Roadmap to Net-Zero-Carbon Concrete.’ This plan supports Canada’s climate as well as industry goals.

The specific focus of this roadmap is to position Canada’s cement and concrete industry as a competitive global leader in the production of, and technologies related to low-carbon cement and concrete. The roadmap will seek to further develop the low-emissions building materials supply chain, build a productive framework for innovation in this sector, and build knowledge about Canada’s vision for emissions reduction in the cement and concrete sector. Additionally, an industry-government working group led by the Cement Association of Canada (CAC), the National Research Council (NRC), and the Standards Council of Canada (SCC), in collaboration with Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED), will be established to advance these goals productively.

The working group will aim to:

  • Build knowledge and opportunities of low carbon products
  • Support domestic and global market development
    • Develop and fund strategies for EPDs
    • Enable product differentiation of embodied GHG of concrete, develop market acceptance of low-carbon concrete
  • Identify strategic and lighthouse projects
    • Identify projects to reduce GHG emissions in the concrete market, and support and accelerate the commercialization and deployment of new low-carbon technologies (using recycled concrete for raw material – concrete production)
  • Strengthen Canada’s low emissions supply chain
    • Develop a low-emissions building materials supply chain strategy (carbon labelling, incentives, lifecyle disclosure of emissions)
    • Technical and regulatory support for the development of new low-emission building materials, and support for market acceptance through NRC’s Canadian Construction Materials Centre
  • Drive innovation through codes and standards
    • Support the construction industry for standards to advance innovation in low-carbon resilient buildings and infrastructure. Standards developed will in turn support innovation of codes for infrastructure
  • Support Canadian research and innovation
    • Fund net-zero carbon concrete research and development
    • Provide knowledge transfer opportunities to allow industries to transition towards new requirements for low-carbon structural materials
  • Promote cleaner fuels in transportation of building materials
  • Set green procurement rules

This partnership is great news for young innovative concrete companies, and for long-standing companies. The roadmap and working group will provide innovative concrete companies with the necessary support to navigate the sector’s complex regulatory frameworks and the industrial ecosystem. Meanwhile, long-standing companies in the construction industry will be provided with the tools, and knowledge to transition towards this low-carbon future with agility.