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NAPA engages asphalt pavement industry at first The Road Forward Summit

Jul 15, 2023

In mid-July, a group of 75 asphalt pavement industry leaders met to collaborate on ways to help the industry achieve net zero. Attendees engaged in presentations and breakout sessions in the first gathering of its kind: The Road Forward Summit.

The new event was crafted around a climate action called The Road Forward launched by the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) in February 2022. The plan aims to achieve net zero carbon emissions in asphalt pavement production and construction by 2050 through the use of clean energy and industry-specific technologies, including pavement design, material inputs, plant operations, equipment, trucking and maintenance.

“This summit was designed to take the foundation that was built with The Road Forward and strategically determine the next steps needed to move the entire industry forward,” says event organizer Richard Willis, NAPA’s vice president of engineering, research and technology.

The Road Forward partnerships kicked off in May 2023 with two inaugural partners: Peckham Industries and Cargill Asphalt Solutions. Representatives of both companies attended The Road Forward Summit.

RELATED: NAPA earns 2023 Energy Star Partner of the Year award

“As an asphalt mix producer, Peckham is excited to see the continued efforts to make The Road Forward accessible to all contractors across the country,” says Will Hadeka, general manager for Peckham. “The collaboration that The Road Forward provides will be key in driving innovative solutions on our journey to a net zero future.”

Dan Staebell, asphalt solutions business development manager for Cargill, adds, “The Road Forward Summit was unlike any NAPA experience I have had. The synergy created by having producers, suppliers and agencies brainstorm solutions together to help advance our industry’s sustainability goals is a step we needed, and one Cargill fully supports. I’m really looking forward to seeing the action plan built from the ideas that were generated at the summit.”

In its first year, 2022, two dozen partners signed on to support The Road Forward. Every one of those first-year supporters renewed their commitment in 2023 to continue their financial and intellectual support of The Road Forward.

With six new partners enrolled so far in 2023, a total of 30 NAPA member companies are directly engaging with the challenges and opportunities of reaching net zero.

RELATED: NAPA earns 2023 Energy Star Partner of the Year award