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Wed July 15 2020

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Cemex offers offsetting to create carbon neutral concrete

28 Feb Cemex has brought out what it is claiming to be “the UK’s first net zero ready mixed concrete”.

In reality, the new product is a reduced carbon concrete but, if you want, you can pay extra to have some trees planted and get an official CarbonNeutral certificate in return.

Cemex is working with a carbon offsetting consultant, Natural Capital Partners, to make its Vertua low carbon concrete range officially certified CarbonNeutral, in accordance with The CarbonNeutral Protocol.

The initiative is in line with Cemex's ambition to deliver net zero concrete globally by 2050.

The Vertua range is available in different mix formulations with varying degrees of reduced carbon, for different applications.

The Vertua ultra zero option achieves a 70% reduction in embodied carbon emissions, it is claimed. The remaining emissions can then be offset (if the customer wants to pay more presumably). Applications for the ultra zero mix are limited, Cemex admits – and the setting time may limit its use in winter – but the less virtuous formulations have wider uses.

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The ingredients of Vertua are not disclosed, other than it has a new geopolymer cement, developed in Cemex’s Swiss laboratory.

The Vertua line of low CO2 products was originally launched by Cemex in France in 2018. It has now been introduced to the UK, with the offsetting option to deliver net zero carbon concrete.

Cemex materials vice president Michel Andre said: “Concrete is an essential part of construction – it is cost effective, versatile and typically made from local materials. Concrete is vital for the infrastructure that helps provide the UK with clean water, sanitation and energy, as well as durable homes, schools, hospitals, travel networks and much more.

“However, we recognise future construction needs to be balanced with the effect it is having on the environment. We at Cemex know that we can best meet these challenges by working in partnership with our clients and stakeholders to develop solutions together. We continually invest and innovate to become an environmentally friendly, sustainable leader — enabling a low-carbon and resource-efficient circular economy.

Andy Spencer, VP corporate affairs, sustainability & ERM, admitted: “We know that carbon offsetting is only an interim measure while we further develop technology that is still in early stages. At present we believe it is a good way to sequester the remaining CO2 from our lower carbon solutions to take important climate action now.”

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