TROIS-RIVIÈRES, QC, March 30, 2023 /CNW/ – Actors in the bitumen, road construction and road maintenance industry announced today the launch of their first ever Climate Action Plan (CAP), at the end of Bitume Québec’s annual meeting held in Trois-Rivières on March 29 and 30, 2023, under the theme “On the road to a greener industry”.
This was stated today at a press conference by Tytus Zurawski, President of Bitume Québec, who explained that the objective of this unprecedented initiative was to decarbonize the construction, road maintenance and flexible pavement rehabilitation industry. It is important to remember that despite its lower carbon intensity compared to concrete pavement construction, according to studies conducted in 20191, the asphalt industry wants to do its part in the fight against climate change and reduce its ecological footprint.
Bitume Québec’s Environment Committee quickly began working on the preparatory phase of this Climate Action Plan (CAP), in the company of professionals from NEL-i, a strategic consulting and project development firm working specifically on the fight against climate change. NEL-i’s technical, business and financial expertise is used in the development of decarbonization plans and with developers of climate solutions. “This approach goes well beyond the expression of good intentions, since it is part of a world in perpetual change and offers the possibility of turning a problem into a real opportunity to create value and promote evolution,” says Mr. Zurawski. He emphasizes that the time had come to dare to dream, but especially to dare to undertake to participate in the national effort to reduce GHG emissions, in addition to the mobilization to combat the harmful impacts of climate change. For example, the 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan presented last spring by the Government of Canada aims to reduce the amount of GHGs produced in 2030 by 40 to 45% compared to 2005.
The oil and gas sector will have to reduce its emissions by 31% and the electricity sector by 87%, despite the desired target of carbon neutrality for 2050.
“The members of Bitume Québec want to be part of the solution,” says Zurawski, noting that his sector will follow its own route to get there. He adds that the parameters of the target will be specified in the coming months. For Bitume Québec, this new initiative reflects the organization’s desire to redefine its corporate social responsibility (CSR) and improve its environmental, societal and governance (ESG) practices.
The association’s technical experts have already identified several opportunities to reduce GHGs, such as cold or hot mix recycling, as well as new laying techniques with warm mixes or cold process techniques, which are popular in Europe and the United States and which would benefit from being used more in Quebec; it is up to the industry players.
This transition to a new economy will allow the industry to produce more efficiently and, above all, to measure the impact for future generations: “Only the companies that embody these new values by taking the turn to sustainable development will be the most successful and, in fact, the most profitable,” concludes the organization’s president.
1 Interuniversity Research Centre for the Life Cycle of Products, Processes and Services (CIRAIG) of the École Polytechnique for the Ministère des Transports
SOURCE Bitume Québec