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CEMEX launch UK’s first net-zero ready-mixed concrete

CEMEX Vertua

New Vertua range includes variety of bespoke ready-mix designs including first CarbonNeutral product

CEMEX are launching the Vertua low-carbon concrete range, which includes the option to offset residual CO2 and provide a CarbonNeutral product, in accordance with The CarbonNeutral Protocol.

The range features a variety of bespoke concrete mix designs and includes the Vertua ultra zero option, which is a CarbonNeutral product. This product achieves a 70% reduction in embodied carbon emissions, with the remaining unavoidable emissions offset through working with Natural Capital Partners, specialists in carbon offsetting and carbon neutrality.

To contribute towards the 70% reduction, CEMEX are introducing a new innovative geopolymer cement solution, which was developed at their Global Research & Development Centre in Switzerland and can be used in certain applications.

In addition to Vertua ultra zero, the range features other low-carbon concretes that can be used in a wide range of applications and include an option for customers to choose the added benefit of offsetting the residual CO2.

The Vertua line of low-CO2 products was originally launched by CEMEX in France in July 2018 and, following its success, the offer has now been introduced to the UK and complemented by the offsetting option to deliver net-zero-carbon concrete.

After engineering carbon reductions into the concrete mix design, CEMEX calculate the embodied carbon generated from extraction and processing of raw materials, product manufacturing and distribution using a carbon-footprint calculator that follows the principles of PAS2050. The residual carbon is then offset, making the concrete CarbonNeutral from cradle to customer.

CEMEX will facilitate carbon offsetting by investing in projects which physically remove CO2 where possible from the atmosphere, such as planting more trees or protecting against deforestation through an independently audited and verified project. A CarbonNeutral certificate is then issued to the client.

CEMEX are working with Natural Capital Partners, experts in carbon-offset solutions, to assure the quality of the emissions reductions, which also deliver added benefits such as increasing biodiversity and reducing poverty.

Michel Andre, CEMEX’s vice-president of materials for Western Europe, commented: ‘Concrete is an essential part of construction – it is cost-effective, versatile and typically made from local materials. However, we recognize 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, vice-president of corporate affairs, sustainability and ERM for CEMEX Europe, added: ‘By offering a range of low- and zero-carbon concretes, including the ability to offset the current residual CO2, we aim to make it easy for clients to make the vital transition to more sustainable choices.

‘We know that carbon offsetting is only an interim measure while we further develop technology that is still in early stages, but 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.

‘We are sure this will prove a relevant solution as the construction sector looks to take rapid action to improve the sustainability and climate impacts of the built environment.’

The Vertua range of low-carbon concretes will be formally launched in the UK at the Futurebuild 2020 show at ExCeL London from 3–5 March.

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