Sustainable Solutions

IRA Update: Federal Government Works to Decarbonize Construction Materials

The federal government purchases about $630 billion worth of products each year, buying up everything from glass and concrete for buildings to vehicles for their fleets. And with that purchasing power comes immense influence, and the ability to push for the manufacture of more sustainable materials, especially in the construction and transportation sectors.

According to the U.S. Green Building Council, The most recent move came in March, when the administration announced $6 billion for 33 projects across more than 20 states to decarbonize energy-intensive manufacturing industries making products like steel, chemicals, concrete and even food. That announcement—using funding from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL)—came as other agencies pursue a series of policy tools and funding opportunities to drive embodied carbon out of the highest-emitting sectors, particularly buildings.

“Spurring on the next generation of decarbonization technologies in key industries like steel, paper, concrete, and glass will keep America the most competitive nation on Earth,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm in the announcement. “These investments will slash emissions from these difficult-to-decarbonize sectors and ensure American businesses and American workers remain at the forefront of the global economy.”

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