The Concrete Industry’s Vision for a Sustainable Future
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The Concrete Industry’s Vision for a Sustainable Future . Concrete How would we live without it?. #1 man-made material consumed by humanity #2 material consumed by humanity (after water). We’re all on the same boat.

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Concrete how would we live without it l.jpg
ConcreteHow would we live without it?

#1 man-made material

consumed by humanity

#2 material consumed

by humanity (after water)

We re all on the same boat l.jpg
We’re all on the same boat

The image of any one company cannot stay higher than that of its industry segment

The image of any one industry segment cannot stay higher than that of the industry as a whole

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All sustainability dimensions are important

Industry Image

Sustainable Development




Sustainable development our greatest challenge opportunity l.jpg
Sustainable development: Our greatest challenge & opportunity

  • Industry-wide issue

  • Important how outside world views us

  • Today many different faces and messages

  • Need one ‘face to the world’ and common messages

  • Pool resources to back-up messages

  • An unprecedented level of Industry segment collaboration required

One sustainable face to the world l.jpg
ONE sustainable face to the world

Sum of the Supply Chain Segments

Rock + Cement + Cementitious + Additives + Production + A&E + Construction


Concrete Structures

All vertical & horizontal applications

and concrete products

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Reframe the issue


CO2 footprint

of cement

To: Lifecycle


of concrete structures

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Agenda is even broader

Lifecycle eco-footprint

is subset of the

social value of concrete structures

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“Concrete structures provide great value to society”

We believe it

…but does the world know?

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Shift the talking from ourselves to those outside

  • Decision makers

  • Policymakers

  • Users/public

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Why a Concrete Joint Sustainability Initiative?

  • Develop common Industry identity (One face to the world)

  • Develop common vision of industry sustainability

  • Pool resources and minimize duplication

  • Back-up sustainability

    messages with facts

  • Coordinate communication

    of outside messages

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Joint declaration of industry vision for a sustainable future

  • Constitutes charter document of the Concrete Joint Sustainability Initiative

  • Contains 9 declarations

  • Lists 8 social values of concrete structures

  • 24 industry associations have currently signed, with more to come

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Declaration #1: future“Concrete structures are the core of our industry identity that include all vertical and horizontal applications and concrete products”

  • Move away from thinking and acting as fragmented segments

  • Concrete structures are the visible end-result of our industry supply chain

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Declaration #2: future“Concrete Structures are at the center of an integrated approach to addressing industry challenges”

  • Historic fragmentation has led us to overemphasize component thinking as opposed to system thinking

  • Component-based solutions are sub-optimal compared to system solutions

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Declaration #3: future“Proactively communicate and continuously enhance the social value of concrete structures”

  • Due to our long history, we take for granted that society acknowledges the value of what we do

  • We cannot rest on that assumption

  • We often neglect or understate our value

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Declaration #4: future“Our integrated thinking will focus on the following social values provided by concrete structures”

  • Resource efficiency

  • Safety/protection

  • Financial responsibility

  • Operational continuity

  • Longevity/durability

  • Byproducts reduction

  • Esthetics

  • Societal connectivity (more on this later)

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Declaration #5: future“Review priorities and activities, coordinate to align respective programs and projects, and leverage on the particular strengths and expertise of each organization to pursue an integrated focus on concrete structures”

  • Use our limited Industry resources in the most effective way

  • Eliminate duplication, cross-purpose and gaps in our actions

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Declaration #6: future“Persistently drive continuous improvement at component and integrated levels to enhance the social value of concrete structures”

  • Industry has consistently pursued continuous improvement

  • Historically this has been evolutionary and component-based

  • Integrated system improvements will require enhanced segment collaboration

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Declaration #7: future“Provide advocacy, technical and educational resources to enhance the use and convey the benefits of concrete structures to others”

  • To benefit from using concrete structures, all stakeholders must be informed

  • Common messages adapted to every audience

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Declaration #8: future“Time is of the essence; pursue mechanisms and approaches that may diverge from business-as-usual for expedited results”

  • This thinking and corresponding action are long overdue

  • Pressing challenges require we catch-up quickly

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Declaration #9: future“Maintain open channels to welcome, involve and engage all Industry segments in becoming part of this direction”

  • Engage and embrace input from all segments to adopt this thinking throughout our Industry

  • Original 3 organizations quickly grew to 6, and then to 24, with more to come

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8 social values of concrete structures future

  • These are the real reasons we exist as an Industry

  • Our future prosperity depends on delivering, enhancing and communicating these social values

  • Behind every challenge is opportunity

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Value #1: Resource Efficiency future

  • Concrete structures over their lifecycle are efficient users of energy, water, land and other resources

  • We need to consolidate and develop more supporting facts to back this up, particularly for energy and water

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Value #2: Safety / Protection future

  • Concrete structures provide a superior level of user safety, protection and peace of mind

  • Disaster resistance is commonly accepted but usually understated

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Value #3: Financial Responsibility future

  • Concrete structures provide economic advantage both from a total cost of ownership perspective and from greater local content benefit to communities

  • Economic benefit requires multi-year view

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Value #4: Operational Continuity future

  • Concrete structures offer greater disaster resistance, protecting essential community services and business continuity

  • Commonly accepted but usually understated

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Value #5: Longevity/Durability future

  • Concrete structures outlast the useful lives of other structures with minimal maintenance and repair

  • Commonly accepted but usually understated

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Value #6: Byproducts Reduction future

  • Concrete structures over their lifecycle produce a reduced level of byproducts (including CO2), use the byproducts of other activities and can ultimately be recycled themselves

  • We need to consolidate and develop more supporting facts to back up environmental friendliness

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Value #7: Esthetics future

  • Concrete structures can be designed to create aesthetic quality for both users and their surroundings

  • Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but effective messaging sets a standard

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Value #8: Societal Connectivity future

  • Concrete structures provide the essential links (roads, bridges, ports, utility infrastructure etc) that enable society to function safely and efficiently, and prosper financially

  • Commonly accepted but usually forgotten

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Current Concrete Joint Sustainability Initiative actions future

  • Develop and deliver alignment/call-to-action presentation for within our Industry (you’re looking at it!)

  • Association collaboration to compile and unify industry sustainability messages

  • Compile/organize supporting facts to back up social values, identify related programs and gaps

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Current actions future(continued)

  • ACI to initiate development of 2 sustainable construction publications which could lead to more rapid code evolution

  • PCA/NRMCA to share industry-wide imaging/ branding survey and recommendations

  • Communication/engagement with additional Industry associations

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Industry Image future

Concrete Joint Sustainability Initiative


ACI Committees

RMC Res and Ed Found.

PCA Ed Found.




PCA | PCI | Others



PCA | PCI | Others

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A new way of thinking and acting future

  • Industry-wide image and critical mass

  • The sticking power of repeating common messages

  • Collaboration and resource effectiveness

  • Outside the circle and box

  • Fast track

  • Both near and longer term strategies

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Concrete Joint Sustainability Initiative Commitment future

‘Each party commits its individual

strengths, resources as appropriate and

guidance towards this Vision,

to pave the way for a sustainable future for those present and those who will follow,

in advancing the potential of our Industry for the benefit of society’

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The smell of success future

  • Decision makers: Recommend and prefer to specify concrete structures where possible

  • Policymakers: Adopt policies that recognize the value of concrete structures to society and preserve the vitality of domestic supply chain sources

  • Users/Public: Like to live and work in and around concrete structures and readily express and act on their preference

  • All: Have a positive/’feel good’ image of our Industry

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Commitment at many levels futurewill drive success

  • Industry

  • Association

  • Company

  • You!

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Thank You future

American Coal Ash Association American Concrete Institute American Concrete Pipe Association American Shotcrete Association American Society of Concrete Contractors Architectural Precast Association American Segmental Bridge Institute Cast Stone Institute Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute Concrete Sawing & Drilling Association Concrete Foundations Association Expanded Shale, Clay and Slate Institute

Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute International Concrete Repair Institute National Concrete Masonry Association National Precast Concrete Association National Ready Mixed Concrete Association Portland Cement Association Post-Tensioning Institute Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute RMC Research and Education Foundation Silica Fume Association Slag Cement Association Tile Roofing Institute Tilt-Up Concrete Association Wire Reinforcement Institute