The cement industry is continually being challenged to innovate the manufacturing process and find sustainable solutions to meet today’s—and tomorrow’s—construction needs. With cement constituting 5-8% of worldwide man-made CO2 emissions, green building innovation is more important than ever to solving our nation’s climate crisis.

ADVANCEMENT, CalPortland’s new line of portland-limestone blended cements, represents the industry’s commitment to providing environmentally friendly products through the use of sustainable materials and renewable technologies.

Advancing PLC with ADVANCEMENT

ADVANCEMENT is a line of portland-limestone blended cements that addresses customers’ increasing demand for sustainable options. By replacing clinker with up to 10% additional limestone during the grinding process, less clinker is produced during the energy intensive phase of manufacturing cement. In accordance to ASTM C150, cement manufacturers currently implement up to 5% limestone addition into their production process. However, in accordance to ASTM C595, PLCs can implement up to 15% limestone—resulting in a dramatic decrease in CO2 emissions over ordinary portland cement.

“Portland-limestone cements (PLCs) significantly reduce the amount of CO2 emissions produced during the cement manufacturing process without sacrificing performance,” saysCalPortland President and CEO Allen Hamblen. “The ADVANCEMENT line of products is another key solution to helping CalPortland achieve its carbon reduction goals.” 



Two Products That Offer Resilience and a Lower Carbon Footprint

PLC is an environmentally friendly solution to reducing the overall carbon footprint of cement and concrete based products. Customers currently using ordinary portland cement can now use ADVANCEMENT HS. HS is used in high-sulfate areas and for general use concrete construction such as structural concrete applications, prestressed and precast concrete, and prepackaged products like premixed concrete and mortars.

Users of Type IL cements can expect to enjoy ADVANCEMENT LT where aesthetic properties are desired. In addition to lower carbon emissions, the ADVANCEMENT line of products are comparable in performance, enhance aesthetics, and have the environmental qualities sought after in cement.

Benefit: Performance

The use of PLCs in concrete mix design are easily substituted in ordinary portland cement mixes. Common performance attributes such as strength, shrinkage and durability are comparable to, if not better than, ordinary portland cement. Combining a PLC like ADVANCEMENT HS with other concrete carbon reduction technologies will further enhance performance and increasingly reduce the embodied carbon of concrete, the world’s most widely used building product.

Osler Parking Structure, UCSD
Osler Parking Structure, UCSD.

Benefit: Aesthetics

Using PLCs is now an option to reduce embodied carbon while maintaining a high-quality appearance with Portland-limestone blended cement. ADVANCEMENT LT is a lighter colored, higher albedo Type IL PLC that is preferred when aesthetic architectural design and application are required.

Benefit: Environmentally Friendly

Quite simply, PLC is produced to provide a direct substitute product for ordinary portland cement at approximately a 10% reduced environmental footprint while providing the same performance as the portland cement being substituted.

“The use of portland-limestone cement provides our industry with an immediate pathway to a lower carbon footprint while maintaining the performance expectations of concrete using standard portland cement,” said Kirk McDonald, FACI, and Vice President of Cement Technical Services at CalPortland. “The fact that concrete utilizing PLC can also use supplementary cementing materials as traditionally used allows for even lower environmental impact of concrete.” 

A History of Performance and Sustainability

PLCs have been used in Europe and other countries for decades. However, in an effort to improve the sustainability of cement and cement products, the U.S. has developed specification requirements currently being utilized throughout the nation. ADVANCEMENT LT and ADVANCEMENT HS conform to the requirements of ASTM C595 and AASHTO M240 for Portland-Limestone Type IL cement. PLCs such as the ADVANCEMENT line of products can be used in all concrete applications. ADVANCEMENT is designed to be a simple, sustainable solution for all concrete construction needs.

To learn more about the ADVANCEMENT™ product line, please visit For more than a decade, CalPortland has been an industry leader on energy conservation and environmental quality. ADVANCEMENT™ represents CalPortland’s commitment to offering environmentally friendly products, sustainable materials and renewable technologies.