News Analysis

Setting Carbon Footprint Rules for Concrete

New rules standardize how we calculate the carbon footprint and other impacts of concrete.

“When it comes to building products, reducing the carbon footprint from concrete is one of the most significant actions that the building sector can take,” says Ed Mazria, founder and CEO of Architecture 2030. While there are many ways to reduce that footprint, without clear rules defining how to measure the impacts, it’s tricky to track progress or provide incentives. Carbon Leadership Forum’s new “product category rule” (PCR) for concrete will help.

“There is a real opportunity for improving the carbon footprint of concrete through mix design,” says Kate Simonen, AIA, assistant professor in the Architecture Department at the University of Washington and director of the Carbon Leadership Forum. “Concrete is both a material with significant global impact and one that can be customized without re-tooling a factory,” Simonen explains. When environmental performance is called out as a consideration, she notes, suppliers can readily customize mixes to reduce impacts (see “Reducing Environmental Impacts of Cement and Concrete,”

Published October 26, 2012

Malin, N. (2012, October 26). Setting Carbon Footprint Rules for Concrete. Retrieved from