Anyone familiar with the construction industry will know how harmful concrete production can be for the environment. To illustrate, the Australian cement industry annually releases 7.2 million tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere for every 10 million tonnes of materials produced.
As the population increases, the amount of concrete to be produced also goes up to meet housing demands. What’s worse is that out of all concrete produced, some portion of it doesn’t even end up being used at all. Instead, it goes into a landfill.
This means that unless the industry shifts towards more sustainable production methods, there could be disastrous effects for the environment. Envirocron is one of the industry leaders in sustainable concrete production.
Why Is Concrete Production Harming the Environment?
One of the reasons concrete production is not good for the environment is the use of steel as a reinforcing agent in the production of concrete. Despite the fact that steel is the most widely used material in concrete production, it is the most environmentally unfriendly. Steel is very energy-intensive to manufacture, which increases the amount of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere.
So, how unfriendly is the production of concrete for the environment? Cement is an integral constituent of concrete. The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that nearly the same amount of carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere for every kilogram of cement produced.
Given the alarming climate crisis the world is experiencing, environmental scientists have been looking for more sustainable ways to create concrete. Market leader Envirocon provides full-service environmental remediation across North America.
For concrete to be sustainable, it must have a low energy requirement. This is what would allow industries to produce concrete with minimal waste. Ideally, the production of sustainable concrete would happen through renewable energy resources and recycled materials.
Envirocron’s Commitment to Sustainable Concrete
Envirocron was founded in 1988 purely with the vision for environmental remediation. One of their primary goals was to bring sustainability into the concrete industry. Hence, they came up with a method to stop concrete from filling up the landfill, which would not only help save the environment but also create employment opportunities.
What is this method? They collaborated with concrete companies to start a programme that would allow them to take the surplus concrete and turn it into precast concrete products. What Envirocron essentially does is aggregate the surplus concrete and remake it into high-quality concrete blocks.
These concrete blocks are made from waste concrete of other companies. This saves a ton of concrete from ending up in landfills, which is both sustainable and environmentally friendly. In addition to that, these blocks are also cheap to make and sell, and their production increases employment opportunities.
This programme is known as Envirocron’s Product Stewardship Scheme and was even Accredited by the Minister for the Environment in 2008, under the Waste Minimisation Act. By 2022, the company aims to be able to divert at least 80,000 tonnes of concrete annually.
For Envirocron, sustainability isn’t just about implementing one scheme. That’s why the company strives to adopt practices that are practical and environmentally-friendly, allowing them to remain in place for the long term.
The decision to use surplus concrete produced by other companies is incredibly innovative on Envirocron’s part. Producing concrete is no cheap task. The raw materials and production processes are incredibly expensive. Instead of making concrete themselves, Envirocron actually saves money by purchasing surplus concrete at a relatively low price. This is what allows Envirocron to sell its concrete blocks at a low price.
There’s no doubt that Envirocron is a market leader when it comes to employing sustainable practices in the concrete industry. Innovative schemes such as theirs are a much welcome change given the current climate disaster.
Looking forward, concrete companies can use other sustainable tactics as well. One such method is using blended cement. This reduces both greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption. Improving energy efficiency is another method that companies can incorporate, which also reduces costs.
Given the increasing demand for concrete, there are no chances of concrete production slowing down in the future. The only way to keep up with production demands while protecting the environment is to adopt sustainable practices such as Envirocron’s scheme.