Rethinking Cement - ISCouncil

Rethinking Cement

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Rethinking Cement

 Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) and ISCA are working together to encourage low carbon cements in Australian infrastructure.

Australia could lead the world on zero carbon cement with the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia’s (ISCA) Infrastructure Sustainability (IS) rating scheme.

This follows the release of Beyond Zero Emissions’ (BZE) Rethinking Cement report that shows how Australia could develop the world’s first zero carbon cement industry, helping to wipe out 8% of all global emissions caused by making cement.

ISCA’s CEO Antony Sprigg said, “Our new IS Innovation Challenge will reward infrastructure projects that manage to replace at least 50% of Portland cement with alternative, low carbon cements.”

BZE’s Head of Research, Michael Lord, said, “We think that Australia can lead the world towards zero carbon cement, and ISCA’s new Innovation Challenge will make a big contribution to that.”

ISCA’s IS Rating scheme will introduce two new incentives, aligned with BZE’s approach:

  •  A new Innovation Challenge will encourage greater use of low-carbon content within Portland cement.
  • The updated IS Materials Calculator for ISv2.0 will award points for the use of geopolymers – an alternative, low-carbon type of cement.

ISCA already rewards projects for replacing a proportion of Portland cement clinker with low-carbon alternatives such as waste fly ash. Their analysis indicates that IS rated projects have achieved an average of 21-25% Portland replacement.

However, Rethinking Cement presents many projects which have exceeded this level. For example, the Crossrail project, a new 100-kilometre railway across London, has achieved an average of 50% Portland cement replacement. And Australia’s newest airport, Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport, was built mostly from low-carbon geopolymer concrete.

Rethinking Cement can be downloaded from

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