Skip to main content

Climate Pioneers

How construction products giant CRH plans to cut emissions 30% by 2030

Last year, the company recycled 43.9 million metric tons of byproducts and waste from other industries into raw materials and fuels for its own products.

CRH construction image

The CRH Americas Materials businesses supplied 42,500m3 of concrete for the construction of the 37-story Fairmont hotel in Austin. Source: CRH

CRH is a leader in construction materials in both the Americas and Europe, with $34.9 billion in worldwide revenue for 2023. That success carries a heavy climate impact: The built environment accounts for 42 percent of global emissions annually, which includes building operations and energy usage, along with the greenhouse gas footprint embedded in things such as cement, iron, aluminum and steel.  

CRH, based in Dublin, Ireland, wants to cut its absolute emissions by 30 percent across its entire footprint, including suppliers, by 2030. 

Circular design that encourages recovery and reuse is a big part of delivering on that. Last year, the company recycled 43.9 million metric tons of byproducts and waste from other industries into raw materials and fuels for its own products. Those efforts reduced its use of virgin materials by 9 percent, according to CRH’s 2023 sustainability progress report.

For example, one European division offering demolition and recovery services is using the old concrete it collects to make new sand-lime bricks that are 40 percent recycled. Elsewhere, CRH uses recycled asphalt shingles and pavement recovered from old roads: The new asphalt made by its division in Florida is 38 percent recycled.

More than 400 research and innovation projects are underway at CRH, many centered on circularity. That includes a focus on water: CRH says it recycled roughly 40 billion gallons in 2023 rather than drawing from freshwater supplies. The company reduced its Scope 1 operational footprint and Scope 2 energy impact by 8 percent that year.

In the next episode of Climate Pioneers, a new video series featuring innovators and executives working on the climate crisis, host Heather Clancy will discuss these strategies with Eunice Heath, CRH’s chief sustainability officer. You’ll get a status report on how the company makes decisions and insights into how CRH partners with customers such as Google and Cargill to create new lower-emissions products. 

Register to join live at 1 p.m. ET June 11 or watch the recorded interview. Key CRH leadership insights and case studies will also be published on GreenBiz.com.

[Learn how companies are navigating the fast changing sustainability agenda and driving more impact with Trellis Network.]

More on this topic