Webinar – Decarbonisation Pathways

The recent publication of the document “Decarbonisation Pathways for the Australian Cement and Concrete sector” represents an important step for the industry in charting its course to a lower carbon future. It further represents the completion of the first project funded by SmartCrete CRC, in collaboration with RACE for 2030 CRC and the Cement Industry Federation.

To assist with understanding the content of the document the reports lead authors, Dr Martin Schneider and Dr Christoph Müller, presented at a webinar hosted by SmartCrete CRC on the 1st December 2021. In this webinar, the ambitions for the industry were presented along with the research and innovation areas that need to be explored to achieve these ambitions.

Bio – Martin Schneider

Martin Schneider is Chief Executive of VDZ since 1 January 2000. He has a background in physics and started his career in the cement industry 1991 in the field of environment and sustainability. He was head of VDZ’s department of environmental technology, later he was assigned head of the department of cement chemistry. Being the head of VDZ for 20 years now he has further developed VDZ into a knowledge centre of the cement and concrete industry, providing services for the whole construction value chain. Martin not only heads VDZ with its 200 experts in Düsseldorf but also serves as a strategic advisor for many cement companies around the world.

In 2003 Martin was also assigned managing director of ECRA, the European Cement Research Academy. ECRA is a platform on which the European cement industry and its stakeholders supports, organises and undertakes research activities within the context of the production of cement and its application in concrete. Its main activities today are on carbon capture as well as future grinding technologies.

Bio – Christoph Müller

Christoph Müller is Head of the Concrete Technology Department at VDZ. He studied civil engineering at the Technical University RWTH Aachen; was a Research Associate at the Institute of Building Materials Research of the RWTH Aachen (ibac); and in 2000 achieved a PhD at the RWTH Aachen.

In 2000 Christoph joined VDZ with a focus on concrete technology and durability of concrete (steel corrosion, freeze-thaw resistance, alkali-silica-reaction). Christoph is a member of numerous national and international standardization committees of concrete construction. In 2007 he was the Head of Concrete Technology Department and then Managing Director VDZ Technology gGmbH in 2012.

View the Project page here

Key Pathways To Net Zero For Australian Cement And Concrete Identified

A new independent report titled ‘Decarbonisation Pathways for the Australian Cement and Concrete Sector’ released today confirms the Australian industry’s ambition of net zero carbon cement and concrete to Australian society by 2050 is achievable.

Click here to download the full Media Release (PDF)

VDZ was recently commissioned, based on its international research credentials, to undertake this study to better understand the technologies and practices necessary to decarbonise Australian cement and concrete.¹²

In early October 2021, the Australian cement and concrete industry declared its ambition to deliver net zero carbon cement and concrete by 2050, and the VDZ report demonstrates this outcome can be achieved with the assistance of the full value chain.

The VDZ report notes “The Australian cement and concrete sector has a long history of reducing its CO2 emissions having delivered a 25 per cent reduction since 2000. However, the challenge of decarbonising by 2050 will require significant regulatory, structural and behavioural changes across all segments of the cement and concrete value chain.”

The ability to deliver lower carbon cement and concrete will require significant financial investment to research, pilot and adopt a range of technologies.

“It will also require a transition to a ‘market pull’ environment through leadership in government and private sector procurement policies and changes in regulation to safely promote the uptake of lower carbon products” according to the VDZ report.

The Australian cement and concrete sector understands the long term economic and societal benefits of harnessing the eight identified decarbonisation pathways and key future research requirements identified in the report. These are:

  • Zero emission electricity and transport
  • Innovation through design and construction
  • Further innovation in concrete
  • Increased use of supplementary cementitious materials in concrete
  • New CO2 efficient cements
  • Alternative fuels and green hydrogen
  • Accounting for concrete to uptake CO2 (recarbonation)
  • Capture remaining CO2 (CCUS)

 The sector realises the challenge ahead will require significant financial investment and policy change to support the transition. However, the VDZ Report released today demonstrates that the transition is possible. 

As a trade exposed sector, a fundamental requirement will be that the transition does not lead to undermining the competitiveness of the Australian cement and concrete manufacturing base. 

The Australian cement and concrete sector is now developing engagement plans based on the identified pathways to implement the key recommendations of the report and are committed to reviewing progress on a regular basis. 

Click here to download the full Media Release (PDF)

 Media enquiries: 

Margie Thomson
Chief Executive, Cement Industry Federation
M: 0418 290 058 

Ken Slattery
Chief Executive, Cement, Concrete and Aggregates Australia
M: 0417 497 559 

Warren South
Chief Executive, SmartCrete CRC
M: 0427 169899 

View the Project page here

 1. VDZ is a world-renowned research centre, providing practical and quality-oriented joint research and services in the field of cement and concrete. 

2. Financial and in-kind contributions have been provided by the Cement Industry Federation, Cement, Concrete and Aggregates Australia, SmartCrete CRC and the RACE for 2030 CRC.