Cement Manufacturing Transparency Reporting

As an early industry sector responder to evolving green building requirements, PCA and its members were among contributors to the creation of 2014 Product Category Rules (PCR) on North American cements published by ASTM, Product Category Rules For Preparing an Environmental Product Declaration for Portland, Blended Hydraulic, Masonry, Mortar, and Plastic (Stucco) Cements.  To see or download the PCR, click here.

About EPDs and PCRs

An Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) is comprehensive summary report of environmental impacts of a material’s production based on life cycle assessment (LCA) and verified by a third party. It provides a clear, consistent, and transparent basis for reporting broad environmental performance for similar types of materials or products and is often compared to the nutritional label found on food products.  It is essential to note that within an EPD there is no evaluation of the environmental information, since no predetermined environmental performance levels are set.

EPDs are based on Product Category Rules (PCRs) which are established to ensure that EPDs within a similar product type are constructed from comparable data and analysis methods. A product category is a group of products that can fulfill equivalent functions. Once the key attributes of a product’s manufacturing impacts are identified by the PCR, data collection and assessment through the life cycle assessment process becomes more efficient, consistent and cost effective. To ensure credibility, the rules are prepared with input from a wide range of stakeholders to achieve consensus. A panel of independent experts reviews and verifies the draft PCR complies with ISO 14044 and offers a substantive characterization of the environmental impacts for the product. 

PCA Portland Cement EPD

PCA Masonry Cement EPD

PCA Blended Cement EPD

PCA Voluntary Code of Conduct

The goal of the Cement Sustainability Manufacturing Program (CMS) is to balance society’s need for cement products with stewardship of the air, land, and water, conservation of energy and natural resources, and maintenance of safe work places and communities. The centerpiece of the program is a voluntary code of conduct, which is a set of principles, performance measures, and a reporting protocol, designed to guide decision making, business practices, and operating performance in a sustainable fashion.

The PCA Board of Directors in 1991 adopted seven principles that call on member companies in the U.S. to meet market demands while using environmentally responsible practices that minimize emissions, waste, energy consumption, and the use of raw materials. Taken together, these principles help U.S. manufacturers to integrate the economic, social and environmental dimensions of cement manufacturing, and to find a balance between short-term priorities and long-term needs.

  1. The safety and health of our employees, our neighbors, and our customers is our first consideration in the production and distribution of a quality product.

  2. We will continue to implement effective controls, which reduce or eliminate the release of pollutants to the air, to the land, and/or to the water.

  3. We will actively seek ways to manage wastes in a responsible and environmentally sound manner.

  4. We will pursue effective improvements in energy efficiency and promote the conservation of resources.

  5. We will seek ways to beneficially and safely utilize recyclable wastes as raw materials, fuels, and product components as part of our overall commitment to waste minimization and recycling.

  6. We will continue to conduct mining operations in a responsible and environmentally sound manner.

  7. We will participate with lawmakers, regulators, and other interested parties in the development of rational and effective health, safety, and environmental laws and regulations.

Environmental Performance Measures

The Environmental Performance Measures translate the Cement Manufacturing Sustainability (CMS) Program Principles into action. A long-term reduction target is identified for each key performance measure and then progress toward that target is measured against a baseline.

Currently there are four goals approved by the PCA members:

  • Carbon Dioxide (CO2) – The U.S. cement industry has adopted a year 2020 voluntary target of reducing CO2 emissions by 10 percent (from a 1990 baseline) per ton of cementitious product produced or sold.
  • Cement Kiln Dust (CKD) – The U.S. cement industry has adopted a year 2020 voluntary target of a 60 percent reduction (from a 1990 baseline) in the amount of CKD landfilled per ton of clinker produced.
  • Environmental Management Systems (EMS) – The U.S. cement industry has adopted a year 2006 voluntary target of at least 40 percent implementation of U.S. cement plants using an auditable and verifiable EMS with 75 percent of the U.S. plants implementing an EMS by the end of 2010, and with 90 percent by the end of 2020.
  • Energy Efficiency – The U.S. cement industry has adopted a year 2020 voluntary target of 20 percent improvement (from 1990 baseline) in energy efficiency – as measured by total Btu-equivalent per unit of cementitious product.