SKOKIE, Ill.—The Portland Cement Association (PCA), National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA), American Concrete Institute (ACI), Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute, National Concrete Masonry Association, and Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute signed a memorandum of understanding to align sustainable development activities.

"We are announcing a new way of thinking that will open channels of communications to involve and engage all industry segments," said Aris Papadopoulos, vice chair of PCA and chair of its Sustainable Development Committee. "It’s a chance to bring together our diverse resources to focus on building sustainable housing, roads, schools, and other structures."

As a group, the organizations will concentrate on the sustainable development applications of all concrete structures, which it defines as all vertical and horizontal applications and concrete products. The memorandum outlines eight specific social values that these structures provide: resource efficiency, safety/protection, financial responsibility, operational continuity, longevity/durability, byproducts reduction, aesthetics, and societal connectivity.

The agreement aligns all the groups with the goal of providing advocacy, technology, and educational resources to convey the social value of concrete structures. "This agreement will allow the industry to leverage the particular strengths and expertise of each organization to pursue an integrated program on concrete structures," said Henry Batten, NRMCA chair.

"The concrete industry has reacted positively and implemented many improvements in sustainable development," said ACI President Florian Barth. "By ratifying this agreement, we not only agree to work together, but also establish that we have the same vision to share this planet responsibly."