Skip to content
Climate Home Industry Goals Research Webinars & Events Partners Learn More

Asphalt Pavement Industry Goals for Climate Stewardship: Toward Net Zero Carbon Emissions

Industry Goal 1

Achieve net zero carbon emissions during asphalt production and construction by 2050. Scope 1 Emissions

What It Means

The industry will, on a net basis, not contribute any carbon emissions from its own operations (e.g., materials, equipment). Many countries, industries, and companies worldwide are pledging to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 — a goal echoed by the asphalt pavement industry.


  1. Understand key drivers of asphalt production and construction emissions.
  2. Encourage alternative and renewable fuel use at asphalt plants to reduce carbon emissions.
  3. Partner with owners to align policies, procedures, and specifications to promote net zero production and construction.
  4. Promote the use of WMA technology to reduce temperatures and emissions during asphalt mixture production.
  5. Partner with equipment manufacturers to align industry plans and product development to reduce emissions during production and construction.
  6. Advance adoption of advanced logistical technologies for improved trucking efficiency.
  7. Develop an understanding and timeline for switching equipment and fleet to cleaner energy sources.
  8. Identify best practices for reducing energy consumption of equipment during the construction phase.
  9. Explore opportunities to identify and establish new programs to aid in capital investments needed to achieve net zero.

Research & Implementation Gap

  • Research technologies that would allow a 50% reduction in energy and associated emissions required to produce asphalt mixtures.

Industry Goal 2

Partner with customers to reduce emissions through pavement quality, durability, longevity, and efficiency standards by 2050. Downstream Scope 3 Emissions

What It Means

The asphalt industry relies on customers and stakeholders to achieve net zero carbon emissions. Owners must ask for products and implement practices that lead to net zero emissions. NAPA commits to partnering with stakeholders to achieve a sustainable business case for these actions.


  1. Educate owners on alternative construction scheduling to reduce emissions associated with work zone congestions.
  2. Increase pavement life through expanded adoption of perpetual pavement design methodologies, improved construction practices, and pavement preservation.
  3. Educate decision-makers and users on factors that influence rolling resistance.
  4. Work with specifying agencies to develop contract incentives for actions that reduce emissions through improved pavement quality or improved vehicular fuel economy.

Research & Implementation Gaps

  • Develop a framework for owners to optimize pavement maintenance to reduce vehicular emissions by maintaining pavement smoothness.
  • Complete new research to further define the impact of pavement properties that affect rolling resistance.

Industry Goal 3

Develop a net zero materials supply chain by 2050. Upstream Scope 3 Emissions

What It Means

Supplier partnerships and net zero commitments are critical for the industry to achieve net zero carbon emissions. What the industry asks of and gets from its suppliers counts toward its own net zero goal.


  1. Advance the use of recycled and innovative sustainable materials in all asphalt pavement mixtures through the use of LCA-based tools coupled with Balanced Mix Design (BMD) and performance metrics.
  2. Engage with upstream suppliers to accelerate emission reductions in the material supply chain.
  3. Explore the industry’s role in advancing other asphalt recycling technologies –– cold central plant recycling (CCPR), cold in-place recycling, full-depth reclamation, and hot in-place recycling – as an opportunity to positively impact the carbon footprint of asphalt pavement.
  4. Advocate for the appropriate use of RAP and other recycled materials in asphalt mixtures.

Research & Implementation Gaps

  • Quantify upstream impacts of additive production.
  • Research the use of new forms of asphalt binder and/or asphalt binder replacements.
  • Encourage a culture to allow for the rapid assessment of new materials that could be used in asphalt mixtures through a BMD approach.
  • Educate producers and owners on the use and acceptance of performance tests used in BMD to allow for the development of specifications that encourage innovation in materials and construction.
  • Conduct research that would allow the asphalt pavement industry to increase RAP content to greater than 40%.

Industry Goal 4

Transition to electricity from renewable energy providers in support of net zero carbon electricity generation by 2050 and reduce electrical intensities. Scope 2 Emissions

What It Means

The power generation industry is moving toward net zero carbon, which the asphalt industry can leverage to reduce its own emissions.


  1. Transition to net zero energy where possible.
  2. Increase electricity efficiency in operations.

Carbon Offsets

To achieve net zero in the production of asphalt mixtures, carbon offsets will be necessary; however, it is the industry’s intention to use carbon offsets only as the last option. Industry will reduce emissions as much as technologically possible and use offsets to achieve net zero. Therefore, the current industry tactics associated with carbon offsets are:

  • Explore the use of carbon offsets to reach net zero emissions.
  • Explore the potential use of carbon offsets to monetize and incentivize industry practices that reduce GHG emissions.