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Holcim to Spend $2 Billion on Carbon Capture Tech to Decarbonize Cement Production

Holcim, the world's largest building materials business, announced a new pledge to spend CHF2 billion (USD$2.2 billion) on carbon capture technologies by 2030, with an emphasis on mature technologies and a goal of capturing more than 5 million tonnes of CO2 per year.

The new commitment was announced alongside the release of Holcim's 2023 climate report, which also included an upgraded goal to reduce Scope 1 emissions per tonne of cementitious material by more than 22% by 2030 to 420kg, down from 475kg previously. According to the business, its 2030 targets are in line with the 1.5°C framework and have been validated by the Science Based Targets initiative. (SBTi). Holcim was the first worldwide building materials firm to sign on to the SBTi’s “Business Ambition for 1.5°C” pledge, joining in 2020.

Building materials contribute significantly to world greenhouse gas emissions. Cement production, a component of concrete, accounts for about 8% of global CO2 emissions, with over 900 kg of CO2 emissions created for every 1000 kg of material produced.

Jan Jenisch, CEO of Holcim, stated:

"With upgraded net zero targets and a clear commitment to invest CHF 2 billion in CCUS technologies by 2030, Holcim is accelerating its climate action." We are dedicated to increasing low-carbon and circular construction, as well as making buildings more sustainable in use, in order to create communities that work for people and the planet."

The company listed several initiatives to achieve its climate goals, including the use of decarbonized materials in product formulation, the use of more alternative and renewable energy, and the expansion of low-carbon building solutions.

Holcim emphasised the significance of developing and integrating carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) into the cement manufacturing process in its climate report, with CO2 emitted directly from cement manufacturing from raw materials that cannot be replaced at scale. According to the business, its CCUS projects vary from recycling CO2 from its plants into low-emission raw materials for cement to applications such as farming and aviation fuel.

Holcim also disclosed that it reduced CO2 per net sales by 21% in 2022 and committed to reducing it by more than 10% in 2023 and that it recycled 6.8 million tonnes of construction and demolition waste into new building solutions, putting the company on track to surpass its 10 million tonne goal for 2025.

Holcim's Chief Sustainability & Innovation Officer, Magali Anderson, stated:

"We upgraded our 2030 targets to be in line with the SBTi's 1.5°C framework and are pushing the boundaries of innovation to be at the forefront of low-carbon and circular building, taking a science-driven approach to climate action." I'm encouraged by the work we're making across our sites to speed up the transition to net zero."

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