U.S. Low-Carbon Cement Protocol Development

Version 1.0

The U.S. Low-Carbon Cement Protocol provides guidance on how to quantify, monitor, report, and verify the climate benefits associated with the alternative use of supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) or alternative cementitious materials (ACMs) to produce cement. Production of portland cement (PC) accounts for approximately seven percent of all global carbon dioxide emissions with most of these emissions resulting from calcination to produce clinker, the primary intermediate component of PC. With the opportunity to significantly reduce emissions by replacing clinker with byproduct or naturally derived SCMs/ACMs, the U.S. Low-Carbon Cement Protocol will incentivize industrial-scale SCM availability to meet market demands and achieve emission reduction ambitions.

Public Comment Period

The public comment period was held from August 9, 2023 to September 8, 2023. See below for the draft protocol released in August 2023, the summary of comments and responses from Reserve staff, as well as the submitted comments in their entirety.

U.S. Low-Carbon Cement Protocol Public Comment Webinar
The Reserve held a public comment webinar on August 25, 2023 to discuss the draft protocol in detail and to solicit public comment:

Stakeholder Engagement

The Reserve seeks to engage stakeholders throughout the U.S. Low-Carbon Cement Protocol development process to identify and incorporate applicable laws, norms, and conditions applicable to the cement industry in the United States as well as specific improvements and changes to existing industrial manufacturing processes to ensure its successful implementation.


The U.S. Low-Carbon Cement Protocol is being developed through the Reserve’s multi-stakeholder workgroup process. The Reserve strives to create a well-balanced workgroup consisting of industry representatives, project developers, environmental NGOs, verification bodies, independent consultants, academia, and government bodies.

Ash Grove  National Ready Mix Concrete Association 
Athena Institute  Nichols Consulting Engineers (NCE)
California Department of Water Resources (CDWR) NRDC
Carbonomics  Portland Cement Association 
ClimeCo Ruby Canyon Environmental
Eco Material Technologies   Salt River Materials Group (SRMG) 
Institute for Carbon management (UCLA) SEFA Group 
Lehigh Hanson 

Stakeholders not in the workgroup are encouraged to participate in the process as “observers.” Observers may attend workgroup meetings in listen-only mode, submit written comments on the draft methodology when it is available for public comment, and attend the public webinar(s) held during the public comment period.

Workgroup Meetings

Low-Carbon Cement Workgroup Meeting 5
April 19, 2023

Low-Carbon Cement Workgroup Meeting 4
March 17, 2023

Low-Carbon Cement Workgroup Meeting 3
February 17, 2023

Low-Carbon Cement Workgroup Meeting 2
January 20, 2023

Low-Carbon Cement Workgroup Meeting 1
December 19, 2022

Kickoff Webinar

The Reserve held a public webinar on November 3, 2022, to kick-off the U.S. Low-Carbon Cement Protocol development process.

Development Timeline

The following timeline will be updated as the protocol development process unfolds.

Protocol kickoff webinar November 3, 2022
Workgroup SOIs due November 18, 2022
Formation of workgroup November 2022
Reserve staff finalizes draft protocol November 2022
Workgroup meetings December 2022 – March 2023
Public comment period August 9, 2023 – September 8, 2023
Protocol presented to Reserve Board for approval October 4, 2023


Please contact the Reserve with questions or comments.

Technical and Financial Support

Partial funding and technical support were provided by ClimeCo.