Increasing scope 3 emission reduction investments

Increasing scope 3 emission reduction investments
26 August 2022

This week, Hanson UK reported on its investment in electric vehicles (EV). The need for more clean energy transport in the cement sector is expected to rise substantially as companies look to meet lower emission targets by 2030. Replacing conventional diesel and petrol vehicles with EV, gas or hydrogen technology is a simple way of reducing scope 3 emissions.

The cement sector emits most of its CO2 directly in scope 1 emissions from the cement stack from pyroprocessing and scope 2 indirect purchasing of electricity and energy. However, there are potential reductions to be made from ageing vehicle fleets that can be upgraded to greener transport. Scope 3 emissions cover the extraction and production of purchased materials and fuels, transport-related activities not owned by the cement company and outsourced activities. Transport of cement and clinker and even the commuting of employees and downstream activities such as, turning cement into concrete can be assessed under scope 3 emissions.

How important are scope 3 emissions for the cement sector?
As a guide, The World Business Council of Sustainable Development (WBCSD) quotes that Italcementi's scope 1 and 2 emissions at 83 per cent and scope 3 emissions at just 17 per cent in 2016. Holcim similarly states its scope 3 emissions represent about 20 per cent (30Mt CO2/year in 2021) of its total emissions with scope 1 accounting for 75 per cent of the total. Holcim has also committed to reducing its scope 3 emissions (kg CO2/t clinker purchases, fuels purchased and material transported) by 20-24 per cent by 2030 from its 2020 baseline. CRH cites scope 3 emisions as  861t CO2e in 2021 or 27.57 per cent of its total CO2 emissions, compred to 2263t CO2e from scope 1 (72.43 per cent). Scope 3 emissions may not seem big in the overall picture of what the cement industry needs to achieve in decarbonisation but it is significant enough that investments are now quickly being made in this area.

An indication of the progress being made in reducing CO2 emissions from scope 3 is shown in Table 1.

Table 1: Comparison of Scope 3 emissions (Mt CO2/year) at leading cement producers

















Dalmia Cement
















Titan Cement








UltraTech Cement








Low-carbon transport 2022 investments
Multinationals have the capital to make purchases of EVs and other low-carbon transport a regular activity when their vehicles are due for maintenance and replacement. By assessing trends in vehicle acquisitions, it is possible to recognise the popular types of vehicles being purchased. Low emission compressed natural gas (CNG) and renewable natural gas (RNG) will make an increasing number of CEMEX’s Mexican, Colombian and US truck fleet. Cemex has targeted a 20 per cent reduction in its scope 3 transport emissions by 2030, presumably from its 2021 levels. It has not only piloted EV ready-mix vehicles in Berlin and Paris but has researched renewable diesel, a second-generation biofuel, which is compatible with 60-80 per cent of its current fleet.

Holcim has invested in RNG with 10 Hypertruck ERX units from Hyliion Holdings for its Texas and Oklahoma cement and concrete operations in the US. These units are estimated to reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 89 per cent. Holcim is also constructing four EV charging stations in Canada for its ready-mix operations. These are the first Kent Avenue charging stations that will number 100 across 30 sites in British Colombia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

CRH has committed to Tarmac's EV100 target of transitioning its entire car and van fleet to battery electric vehicles (BEV) and it has installed charging sites at its Solihul HQ and Mountsorrel Quarry. Dalmia Cement in India has opted for electric trucks and two charging stations at its Rajganpur unit in Odisha and three more such facilities this year. Golden Bay Cement in New Zealand ordered two Hyzon-600HP hydrogen-powered 68t trucks for delivery in September 2022.

While cement producers are making low-carbon transport decisions for the future, much remains to be done to reduce scope 3 emissions in the cement sector. The availability of locally-sourced solutions is key for many multinationals aiming to hit their emission targets in 2030. A mixture of vehicles using low-carbon fuels will be necessary to meet operational needs, but this is an area where we can expect a growing number of new vehicle manufacturers and related services to cater for the cement sector in the next few years.

Published under Cement News