Low carbon concrete

Concrete evolution - engineered solutions for construction

What concrete carbon rating do you want to achieve?

Tarmac has made it easy for customers to make more sustainable choices in concrete specification, we’ve made low carbon concrete selection simple. Tell us what rating you want to achieve from industry standard A++ to G and we will supply the right concrete for your project requirements.

We have aligned our low carbon concrete supply to the ICE, Green Construction Board Low Carbon Concrete Routemap ratings. This means all you need to do is ask for CEVO concretes, tell us the carbon reduction percentage you want to achieve, and we’ll engineer the right low carbon concrete solution.

Simple. Strength + CO2 reduction = low carbon concrete

Lower carbon concrete - the future of design

As new materials science in concrete design is developed it is applied to the same ratings. Tell us your required carbon rating and we will supply, incorporating the latest available replacements, limestone fillers or alkali activated solutions. And, in the not-too-distant future we’ll be adding calcined clays to the solutions designs.

Think - How much carbon do you want to cut and what are you building?
CEVO engineered low carbon concretes will deliver.

Speak to us about low carbon concrete

Advancing progress in the materials science of low carbon concrete

The update to the BS8500 British concrete standard allowing PLC cements to be used in combination with GGBS and fly ash has been a major focus in our concrete solutions evolution. Essentially, PLC cements allow up to 20% of the cementitious elements to be limestone filler, which replaces clinker, lowering the carbon emissions from cement. Having run full-scale demonstration projects with key customers, Tarmac has actively planned our full roll out across our national manufacturing capability.
Additionally, Tarmac has developed an alkali-activated material system (AACM). This product has also been used in full-scale demonstrations across the UK in the past two years, including by National Highways on a project on the M42. The next step is for appropriate standards to be developed to allow wider use of this AACM product, which has a much lower carbon footprint.
In 2024, we expect to start replacing CEM I 52,5N (PC) volumes, with CEM II A-LL 52,5N (PLC). This is a UKCA-marked cement, with limestone filler already built in, which can be used under the new BS 8500 standards. The expectation is that CEM II A-LL will have equivalent performance, so can be a permanent carbon-cutting replacement.

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Low Carbon solutions made simple


Industry aligned low carbon/Net Zero concrete supply

We believe that a zero-carbon future for concrete can only be achieved from an accurate starting position. That’s why we have adopted the Low carbon concrete route map rating classification.


Concretes are graded by strength properties and then banded. Just like energy ratings the carbon performance is easy to understand and visually represented in a universally recognised benchmark.

How we calculate the carbon in our concrete

Understanding the embodied carbon of products is the first part of the journey towards understanding the whole life emissions of a project. For all our products we can provide product specific carbon footprint information. Our carbon calculator has been created in accordance with the methodologies set out in PAS 2050:2011 ‘Specification for the assessment of the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions of goods and services and the Asphalt Pavement Embodied Carbon Tool (asPECT v4.2).
Calculating the CO2 footprint for a product not only provides a clear understanding of the products that are being used but also allows for carbon to be managed in the supply chain. It is also possible to compare alternative products and services, actively seek lower carbon alternatives and understand the impact of using recycled and secondary materials

Engineered low carbon concretes for infrastructure.

Calculate your low carbon concrete footprint

The concrete carbon tool provides carbon footprints, created to PAS 2050 methodology, using Tarmac average data, benchmarked against the Green Construction Board LCCG benchmark.

Please contact the sustainability team for more information - [email protected]

BS8500 compliant cement

Delivering greater choice for your lower carbon concretes.

CEM1 Factory made OPC
CEM2/All Factory made PLC
CIIA-S Plant made OPC + GGBS 6-20%
CIIA-LL Plant made OPC + Limestone 6-20%
CIIB-S Plant made OPC + GGBS 21-35%
CIIB-LL Plant made OPC + Limestone 21-35%
CIIIA Plant made OPC + GGBS 36-65%
CIIIB Plant made OPC + GGBS 66-80%
CIIC-SL Plant made OPC or PLC + GGBS (36-50%) + Limestone (6-20%)
CVI-SL Plant made OPC or PLC + GGBS (31-59%) + Limestone (up to 20%)
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Cutting carbon end to end

To truly advance carbon reductions we feel that we need look at every aspect of our manufacture and supply to support real progress towards Net Zero.

Tarmac and its parent company, CRH, has an ambition to reach net zero by 2050.

CRH has set an industry-leading target to reduce absolute CO2 emissions across the Group by 30% by 2030 (from a 2021 baseline). The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) has validated CRH’s near-term science-based carbon emissions reduction targets in line with a 1.5°C pathway.

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So, it's not just our materials that are cutting emissions.

All electricity used in manufacture is renewable

Use of transition fuels such as hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO)

Transitioning mobile plant to electric

We are collaborating to drive innovation and are proud to have developed and launched the first electric concrete mixer in the UK.

Supply chain engagement through our Decarbonisation Club and Innovation Challenge


Low Carbon Concrete performance benefits

CEVO Low carbon concrete is a type of concrete that is designed to minimise its carbon footprint during its production.

Here are some performance attributes of our CEVO low carbon concrete:

Reduced carbon footprint
Low carbon concrete is designed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions during production by using alternative materials.
Low carbon concrete can be designed to be just as durable and long-lasting as traditional concrete, which is an essential attribute for construction materials.
Low carbon concrete can have comparable strength to traditional concrete, depending on the specific mix design and the intended application.
Low carbon concrete can be used in a wide variety of applications, including structural and non-structural uses, paving, and decorative purposes.
Low carbon concrete options are becoming more widely available in the UK, as the demand for sustainable building materials grows.
Overall, low carbon concrete offers a range of performance attributes and options that make it a viable alternative to traditional concrete, while reducing its environmental impact.

Realtime monitoring and AI predictions of concrete strength & temperature

Learn more about CEVO DigitalConcrete Monitoring Performance Sensors

What is Low Carbon Concrete?

Low carbon concrete is a type of concrete that uses alternative materials or processes to reduce its carbon footprint.

At Tarmac, when targeting carbon reductions, we are optimising all areas of manufacture, material selection, delivery, installation and reuse to help achieve 2050 targets as well as the more immediate commitment to reduce absolute CO2 emissions across the business by 30% by 2030 (This target, from a 2021 baseline, is supported by a series of Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi) validated targets).

35% Carbon Reduction

National Rehabilitation Centre

Engineered low carbon solutions in action.

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Low Carbon Concrete performance benefits

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LCC reduced carbon footprint
The most significant benefit is its reduced carbon footprint. Low carbon concrete can reduce carbon emissions by up to 70%. Additionally, low carbon concrete can be produced using locally sourced materials, which reduces transportation emissions and supports local economies.
Low carbon concrete durability
Another benefit of low carbon concrete is its durability. It is a long-lasting material that can withstand harsh weather conditions and resist erosion. This means that low carbon concrete structures require less maintenance and have a longer lifespan, which reduces the need for future construction projects and the carbon emissions associated with them.
Versatility of low carbon concrete
Finally, low carbon concrete is a versatile material that can be used in a variety of construction projects. It can be used to create everything from buildings and bridges to roads and tunnels. Its strength and durability make it an ideal choice for structures that need to withstand heavy loads and harsh conditions.

CEVO evolution

Low carbon concrete (LCC) is the term given to the latest design concretes that are progressing concrete’s transition towards Net Zero targets. Following years of trials and advances in concrete technology CEVO low carbon concretes deliver simple solutions to making better material choices.

CEVO concretes offer low carbon alternatives to traditional concretes.

CEVO is our commitment to supplying concretes that offer transparent carbon savings and easy to understand performance grading based on the amount of carbon taken out of the design using replacements, limestone fillers or an Alkali Activated solution.

We align our current range of CEVO, low carbon concretes, to ratings published by the ICE, endorsed by the Green Construction Board in the Low Carbon Concrete Routemap. A, B, C to G gradings similar to efficiency bars that we see on electrical items across our daily lives.

Using this system to select the carbon reduction required means as new materials science offers improved new low carbon concretes, we simply align the product to the grading system. Low carbon concretes made simple.

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The past present and future of concrete’s Net Zero transition

30 years of progress - 38% reduction in CO2 per tonne of product. How did we get there?



Cement process improvements

New Tunstead Cement Plant 2004

Concrete process improvements. Cement replacements. Clinker reductions. Admixture evolution. Cement performance improvements.

2010 South Wales wind farm

New lime kiln @ Tunstead 50% energy reduction

2013 Aberthaw Cement Plant partners with Energy Plant to utilise waste ash


Increasing use of replacers +56 days strengths

Zero carbon electricity

Process improvements for lower carbon

Aggregate optimisation processes

Low Carbon Concrete
- Portland Limestone Ternary
- Composites Alkali Activated
- Cementitious Materials

Fly Ash / GGBS availability in UK
- Calcined Clay


Admixture technology evolution (ongoing)

Maximise alternative fuels and clinker factor

Cement 2 Zero Project

Exploring jet-fuel production from cement flue gas

2024 PLC launch Ternary composite concrete adoption

2024 Automation and the use of AI in cement and concrete

2025 AACM launch

2025 nano / graphene, new fibres, basalt rebar

2028 onwards Calcined Clay

World's first carbon negative lime kiln

2030 onwards CCUS deployment

Lime and Cement roadmaps Beyond Net Zero


Choosing Low Carbon Concrete

By reducing your carbon footprint and creating a sustainable built environment, you'll be contributing to a healthier planet and a more resilient community. You will meet construction commitments and be active in the transition towards Net Zero construction.

Low carbon concrete can also incorporate other sustainable materials, such as recycled aggregates and water-saving admixtures, to further reduce its environmental impact.

Low Carbon Concrete FAQs