Amazon to use green concrete from Holcim in Northern Virginia
Author: Peter Judge
Amazon Web Services (AWS) has signed to use low-carbon EcoPact concrete for building work in Northern Virginia. AWS has signed with building material provider Holcim US, and Baker Concrete Construction, to use Holcim's EcoPact concrete for the construction of several Amazon data centers. Holcim claims that the material is available in various options with carbon emissions ranging from 30 to 100 percent less than those of regular concrete. Concrete is a major contributor to global warming, providing up to eight percent of the world's greenhouse gases, during its production and use. Efforts to reduce these emissions include using lower-carbon cement materials and switching to renewable electricity for the heat in the process. One company, CarbonCure, injects carbon into the mix to sequester it, a process that cuts emissions by around five percent. Holcim doesn't go into great detail on how it makes EcoPact, but materials on its site suggest it substitutes other cementitious materials such as fly ash for the Portland cement used in most concrete. The basic mix produces 30 to 50 percent less GHG than conventional concrete, with other options reducing that still further. To reach 100 percent decarbonization, it uses offsets, a controversial process that is decried by campaigners such as Greenpeace as "greenwash". DCD has reached out to Holcim for more information on the techniques it uses to reduce emissions in EcoPact. Holcim has set itself a target of reducing scope 1 and 2 emissions per ton of cementitious materials by 25 percent by 2030, from a 2018 base year.