Prioritisation of action perspectives for greening the concrete product chain

At the request of Rijkswaterstaat, the Netherlands Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management, CE Delft, as a participant in the CSR Concrete Network, has calculated the CO2 emission savings potential of 16 ‘greening options’ for the concrete sector if these were to be implemented on a national scale as well as the abatement costs of these options. These calculations show that optimal implementation of these measures embodies a reduction potential of 1,300 kt/y, over one-third of the carbon footprint of the overall concrete chain (3,700 kt/y). If only the cost-efficient measures are taken (with reduction costs less than zero) the reduction potential drops to slightly less than 1,100 kt/y. These are all greening options for the medium term (post-2020). The cited figure of 1.3 Mt CO2 is equivalent to the annual emissions of over 650,000 cars. 

‘Concrete Green Deal’
This study forms part of a process agreed to in the ‘Concrete Green Deal’, which was nominated for the innovation prize to be awarded on 12 November, 2013 during the so-called Innovation Relay. The Green Deal was agreed to in October 2011 in negotiations between the Dutch ministries of Economic Affairs and Innovation & Environment and 24 industries and 7 trade associations in the concrete supply chain. These industries and associations cooperate in the Concrete Network under the auspices of CSR Netherlands, a national organisation promoting Corporate Social Responsibility. The Concrete Network has already taken initial steps to improve the environmental footprint of the concrete chain. In the medium term, more far-reaching improvements are deemed desirable, and the Network therefore drew up a list of 18 greening options for the medium term, which, in a two-step process, was brought back to a shortlist of 16.

For these 16 options CE Delft has calculated the CO2 reduction potential if these were to be implemented on a national scale, as well as the associated reduction costs. In the present report this information is summarised in the form of a cost curve. An indication is also provided of the extent to which the emission abatement measures overlap. The data used in the calculations are included in several appendices, which can be requested from CE Delft’s secretariat.