OTTAWA—The Cement Association of Canada (CAC) has issued a statement endorsing recommendations contained in a new study by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) calling for better measurement of carbon in building products.
The statement from CAC president and CEO Michael McSweeney said buildings in Canada are responsible for over 30 per cent of Canada’s GHG emissions.
A recent release noted the IISD study Emission Omissions: Carbon Accounting Gaps in the Built Environment suggested that life-cycle assessment (LCA) is an appropriate tool for analyzing the carbon cycle in the built environment and reducing emissions, but that research has found current LCA tools have significant shortcomings.
The researchers identified the need to correct poor assumptions about embodied carbon in wood, steel and concrete building products, the release said. They singled out forestry products for urgent attention because current LCAs ignore emissions from “biogenic carbon.” The study found these omissions could represent up to 72 per cent of the life-cycle emissions of wood products.
“Concrete is the sustainable building material of choice and as such will continue to play a crucial role as we decarbonize the built environment,” the CAC release indicated.
“With this in mind, we are constantly innovating and have already made significant advances in producing lower carbon cements, moving away from fossil fuels, and supporting transformative carbon capture and utilization technologies that could transform concrete into a carbon sink.”