Despite a recent uptick in US manufacturing, the industry still faces daunting challenges that it has to overcome in order to meet carbon reduction goals. The American manufacturing sector is the largest industrial sector in the US, accounting for nearly 16 percent of the US gross domestic product (GDP). While the industry is still the second largest producer of electricity in the US, with over 26 percent of the output of all electricity generation in the country, the US manufacturing sector’s carbon footprint is large, making up 6.5 percent of the nation’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, according to research from the US Department of Energy. But the manufacturing sector could still be doing more to help the country meet the latest goal of reducing GHG emissions

Heavy Industry has posted a net-zero, or carbon-neutral, goal for every building in its portfolio over the next decade. The company has committed to obtain 90 percent of its energy from renewable resources by 2020—a goal that many companies have only begun to consider.

An electric car can be charged up to a certain point before the battery dies out. To charge it to the next level, it requires more energy. To recharge it for the next charge, more energy is required. A net-zero car reduces the energy it uses to travel to zero as it travels. The goal of the electric car company Heavy Industry is to create a net-zero car that uses no energy to drive.. Read more about the road to reopening won t be a straight line and let us know what you think.word-image-7654 More and more companies are committing to becoming carbon free, trying to convince investors and consumers that they can reduce their carbon footprint. Industrial companies with high emissions face a particular challenge. According to nonprofit organizations Data-Driven Envirolab and NewClimate Institute, more than 1,500 companies have committed to becoming energy-free. The idea is to reduce emissions as much as possible and then remove the remaining carbon dioxide – for example, by using carbon capture technologies to offset the remaining emissions. The term net zero does not have the same meaning for all companies. Some focus on carbon dioxide emissions from their own operations. Some of these include emissions caused by suppliers and consumers when using the company’s products, while others are aimed at reducing other greenhouse gases, such as B Methane. Some companies want to get to zero by 2050, others much earlier. Tactics to reduce emissions range from using renewable energy to encouraging customers to adopt environmentally friendly habits. This challenge is particularly difficult for sectors where emissions reduction requires radical, expensive and often untested changes to industrial processes. Heavy industry and heavy transport are the sectors with the highest abatement costs, says Max Ahman, associate professor of research in environmental and energy systems at Lund University in Sweden. According to the research group Transition Pathway Initiative, 15% of high-emitting companies have pledged to reduce their emissions at the rate needed to keep global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius. Some experts doubt the likelihood of achieving this goal. No one will be able to confirm whether these targets are realistic or achievable, the EU Environment Commissioner said. Ben Gallagher, Senior Analyst at the Wood Mackenzie Consulting Group. Still, even unrealistic targets can indicate that companies want to address their contribution to climate change, he added.

Green steel

According to the International Energy Agency, steel production accounts for about 7% of total carbon dioxide emissions from the energy sector. Most steel is made by burning coal to smelt iron ore in blast furnaces, which emits about 1.9 tons of carbon dioxide for every ton of steel, according to the World Steel Association. The technology to smelt iron ore with a renewable fuel does not yet exist at the required scale. Large amounts of low-carbon heat are needed, and there are currently few ways to easily decarbonize those needed amounts, said Gallagher of Wood Mackenzie. Electric arc furnaces that make steel from scrap produce fewer emissions, but there is not enough recycled steel to meet demand. Luxembourg steel producer ArcelorMittal SA, which pledged in September to be carbon neutral by the middle of this century, sees two main paths to low-emission steelmaking. One is to replace coal with environmentally friendly fuels, such as hydrogen and biomass, and to introduce carbon capture. In another case, hydrogen is used to remove impurities from iron without using a blast furnace. The company has invested about 300 million euros, or about $366 million, in a program to produce low-carbon steel. The company says it will begin deploying pilot technologies at plants in Europe, where it aims to reduce emissions by 30% over the next 10 years. These technologies will lead to lower profits. ArcelorMittal estimates that producing carbon neutral steel with biomass in the furnaces and carbon capture will cost at least 30% more, and 60% more if hydrogen is added. The company posted an operating profit of $2.11 billion on revenue of $53.3 billion in 2020.

Low carbon concrete

About 8 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions come from cement production, according to a 2018 report by the think tank Chatham House. The main component of cement, clinker, is made by burning fossil fuels to heat a kiln of limestone powder, which releases carbon dioxide when heated. Proposals to reduce emissions include improving the energy efficiency of the process, switching to alternative fuels and using less clinker. Swiss company for the production of building materials LafargeHolcim Ltd. uses alternative fuels such as biomass to heat its kilns and recycled materials to produce cement with less pollution. The goal is to reduce emissions from 555 kilograms of carbon dioxide per tonne of cement and cement-containing materials produced in 2020 to 475 kilograms in 2030 and reach net zero by 2050. According to experts, reducing emissions on this scale would require the use of carbon capture technologies, which are currently expensive and energy intensive. As in the steel sector, technology development costs can reduce the competitiveness of start-up companies. Cement companies need to sequester carbon to get to zero, but if no one does it, it’s hard to be the first, said Ahman, a professor at Lund University. LafargeHolcim says it has 20 pilot carbon recovery and storage projects. Germany HeidelbergCement AG was given the green light in December for the construction of an industrial-scale project.


For aircraft and truck manufacturers, the net-zero challenge is to find a low-carbon, energy-intensive fuel that can compete with fossil fuels in terms of efficiency. Truck manufacturers see hydrogen fuel cells as the best option, especially since trucks cannot go far on a single charge with existing lithium-ion batteries. Daimler AG и Volvo AB, two of the top-selling heavy-duty truck manufacturers, have committed to completely eliminate air emissions, including those from moving vehicles, by 2050. In April, they formed a new company that plans to build fuel cell systems in Europe starting in 2025.

More from WSJ Pro Sustainable Business

Email Meitana Sardon at [email protected]. Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8The average American office produces 8,000 pounds of waste each year, which adds up to more than 1,000 tons of waste. In the last two decades, most of that waste has come from the increase in paper-based files and digital documents. With more and more of our daily lives being conducted on smartphones, tablets, and other digital devices, some industry experts have called for a change in the way the office is run.. Read more about aristocratic victims of our time and let us know what you think.

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