The construction industry has continually reduced its environmental impact in recent years, with major cities around the world taking the lead in driving change.
One such city is Austin, Texas. Long recognized as a leader in green building practices, the city has a population of nearly 1 million habitants and is on track to become carbon neutral and achieve net-zero community-wide greenhouse gases by 2050.
On Earth Day this year (April 22, 2023), Austin City Council passed a resolution directing the City Manager to create a plan and implementation schedule for transitioning the City to sustainable low embodied carbon concrete.
This initiative further demonstrates Austin's commitment to environmental sustainability and also presents a unique opportunity for concrete producers who prioritize low carbon concrete production.
What Austin’s Resolution Means to Concrete Producers
The City of Austin's commitment to low carbon concrete creates a significant opportunity for sustainable concrete producers, who will likely see increased demand for their products as a result of the City's new policies. Producers that have already incorporated carbon removal technologies like CarbonCure, SCMs, or other cement-reduction technologies into their operations will be well-positioned to capitalize on this growing market.
Leading the charge is Austin’s Lauren Concrete. With a history of innovation—from GPS tracking for fleet optimization to software for real-time quality monitoring—Lauren Concrete is always eager to explore ways to deliver greener concrete. Lauren Concrete was an early adopter of CarbonCure.
“We looked at where the city was heading in terms of sustainability and felt that low-carbon concrete should be a focus for Lauren Concrete. It is very important for us to stay ahead of new technologies so when folks ask about them, we're already past our learning curve and ready to hit the ground running,” explained Renée Drosche, Key Account Manager and CarbonCure specialist at Lauren Concrete.
With the new resolution by the City of Austin, Lauren Concrete and other producers with low carbon concrete have a competitive advantage when bidding on City projects.
Proving the Carbon Footprint of Concrete with EPDs
Austin’s new resolution also mandates the inclusion of Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) in the procurement process, which serve as comprehensive documentation of a product's environmental impact throughout its lifecycle.
By requiring EPDs, Austin aims to increase transparency in the construction process and encourage the use of materials with a lower carbon footprint. Concrete producers use an EPD service provider to conduct life cycle assessments of their concrete plant and materials, and produce Type III EPD reports to prove the carbon footprint of concrete mixes and products. These reports provide valuable information to stakeholders, including builders, architects, and policymakers, helping them to make informed decisions about the materials used in their projects.
As the construction industry continues to evolve, sustainable concrete producers have the chance to demonstrate that environmental responsibility and economic growth can go hand-in-hand.
The City of Austin's initiative serves as an example of how policymakers and the construction sector can work together to drive positive change, reduce the industry's carbon footprint, and build a more sustainable future for all. By embracing low carbon concrete, Austin is not only improving its own environmental performance but also paving the way for other cities and communities to follow suit, ultimately creating a more sustainable and resilient built environment.
Contact our team to learn how CarbonCure can set you up for success in the City of Austin.