Transitioning the Market to OneCem® Portland Limestone Cement
By David Diedrick
As the world’s largest diversified supplier of construction materials, Holcim US plays a key role in leading the industry transition towards low-carbon building solutions, and, consequently, addressing the challenges of climate change. As 2020 drew to a close, we took two bold actions to advance this type of leadership and set the standard for climate action within the industry. First, we pledged to become net-zero by 2050. Second, we announced ambitious goals for achieving intermediate 2030 climate targets validated by the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi).
As 2021 unfolded, our 2030 ambitions to lower CO2 intensity in cement globally to 475 kg net CO2 per ton of cementitious material—a reduction exceeding 20 percent from current industry levels—were at the forefront of our minds, guiding our strategy and operations. Integral to our vision was setting in motion plans to fully convert our US cement plants and the customers they serve to our low-carbon OneCem PLC product.
Building Greener, Building Better with OneCem
OneCem PLC (Type IL) is a blended cement that has been rigorously tested and proven to serve as an effective alternative for ordinary Portland cement (OPC). The engineered material performs the same or better than OPC in terms of concrete workability, set time, durability, and strength development. It also meets the specification requirements of ASTM C595 and AASHTO M 240.
At Holcim, we have produced more than two million metric tons of OneCem for concrete construction projects across the US and Canada over the past decade. We manufacture this low-carbon product with a target of 10 percent finely ground high-quality limestone, resulting in a 10 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production of OPC. In addition to OneCem, specifiers can also incorporate supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs), such as slag and fly ash, in their mix designs to further improve the performance properties and sustainability profile of concrete.