World’s Largest Cement Company Embraces Clean Energy

Announcement indicates growing momentum in the fight to decarbonize heavy industry

For the second time in this month, a top-heavy industrial company announced a major clean energy contract for one of their facilities. This week, work began on a One Energy wind project at LafargeHolcim’s cement plant in Paulding, Ohio. The wind energy produced by the new turbines will meet 20 percent of the plant’s energy needs and eliminate 9,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year. Earlier in April, the world’s largest steel company, ArcelorMittal, announced they had signed a major clean energy contract in Spain and were investing substantially in developing clean hydrogen technology steelmaking.

In response to LarfargeHolcim’s news, Mighty Earth Campaign Director Margaret Hansbrough released the following statement:

“This announcement by LarfargeHolcim is another strong signal that heavy industrial companies are starting to get serious about clean energy procurement.  Its a step in the right direction but heavy industry has a lot of catching up to do when it comes to climate action.”

“Steel and cement together represent about 15 percent of all carbon emissions globally. Unfortunately, they have long been considered two of the most difficult to abate of all industries but that perception is starting to shift.

“Mighty Earth has encouraged heavy industrial companies to reduce their carbon footprints through clean energy and clean technology investments. Committing to the use of clean energy is a straightforward way to reduce the embodied carbon in their products while encouraging the growth of a clean energy economy.  Much of the cement and steel produced ends up being used in our built environment, which means that lower carbon standards for building materials are needed to drive significant climate action.

“If the top-heavy industrial companies like LarfargeHolcim and ArcelorMittal are finding new ways to reduce their carbon footprint, any company can. But this sector as a whole needs to move much faster and more companies need to follow this lead.  Additional pressure is still needed from major construction companies such as Skanska, Clark, Turner, and others to drive demand for lower carbon cement and steel.  All companies that produce and consume heavy industrial materials need to show real leadership by setting science based targets for greenhouse gas reduction and going still further to set ambitious carbon neutrality goals for the full scope of their emissions.”