Holcim Adopts New Environmental Product Declarations for Cement and Concrete Materials
Chicago, Ill. – July 9, 2020 – Holcim US announced a new program to bring greater transparency to its carbon footprint through the use of Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs). These declarations, much like nutritional labels, detail the environmental impact of building materials. National cement and concrete associations have developed EPD ratings on a regional or nation-wide level that have been used by the industry to assess the carbon footprint of products.
EPDs assess the Global Warming Potential (GWPs) of construction materials – from the amount of energy required during the manufacturing process, the environmental impact of extracting or producing the various mix ingredients, and the fuel used to deliver materials to job sites. These documents are ISO and LEED 4 compliant and will be third-party verified by either ASTM or NRMCA.
“The growth in sustainable construction is driving demand for low-carbon building products that can transparently demonstrate a decrease in our environmental footprint,” says Jay Moreau, CEO, US Aggregates and Construction Materials. “These new EPDs also push us to continue innovating as we consider the next generation of building materials.”
In the Mid-Atlantic region, the company has introduced EcoPact concrete, mixes that are between 30%-50% less carbon intensive than regional standard mixes. EPDs will quantify the exact amount of GWP in these low-carbon mixes at seven ready-mix concrete plants around Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia, and Baltimore, as well as at all three of its ready-mix concrete plants in the Northeast region.
Holcim also is taking the step to develop EPDs for cement products manufactured at its 13 plants across the United States, beginning with the Holcim facility in Hagerstown, MD. All EPDs will conform to the newly released North American Cement Product Category Rules (PCR 2020e). The goal is to publish EPDs for products made at all of its cement plants, from standard Type I/II cements to its high-performance blended, or “green” cements such as OneCem (Portland limestone cement).
“Participating in this program forces you to take a hard look at how you do business,” says Jamie Gentoso, CEO, US Cement. “We ask questions about our energy use, logistical efficiency and how the use of new materials can further lower carbon scores. In the end, this will be a win for our business, our customers and the environment.”
Gentoso noted that she sees this initiative as complementary to other company-wide sustainability initiatives such as using non-recyclable industrial by-products as a kiln fuel source, supporting sources of renewable energy, and using reclaimed aggregates for major construction jobs. Holcim looks to maintain its leadership in the US cement industry, building on its more than twenty years of experience manufacturing and marketing blended cements.
The company is partnering with the Athena Sustainable Materials Institute and Climate Earth to create these EPDs.
Holcim is the leading global building materials and solutions company. It has four businesses: cement, aggregates and ready-mix concrete as well as advanced solutions and products that include precast concrete, asphalt and mortar. With its broad portfolio Holcim solves the toughest challenges facing masons, builders, architects and engineers, bringing industry-leading innovations and services to customers challenged by urbanization, population growth and the demand for sustainability. Headquartered in Switzerland and with leading positions in all regions, Holcim employs approximately 80,000 employees in around 80 countries and has a portfolio that is equally balanced between developing and mature markets.
In the United States, Holcim companies include close to 350 sites in 43 states and employ 7,000 people. Our customers rely on us to help them design and build better communities with innovative solutions that deliver structural integrity and eco-efficiency.