With the current construction boom the demand for cement, the key component of concrete, has never been so high. Concrete is one of the most widely used manmade materials making it essential for the global construction. It has shaped urban landscapes, but its production has a massive footprint that neither the industry nor governments have been willing to address.
The heat required to decompose rock and the natural chemical processes involved in making cement emits high levels of carbon dioxide, the main gas causing the greenhouse effect. Nearly 8% of the world’s greenhouse gases are the result of the production of concrete. Incredibly, for every ton of concrete produced, a ton of greenhouse gases are created. Unless forced to change its production practices, the concrete industry could jeopardize the entire 2015 Paris Agreement.
Recent research shows it possible to build safe structures using green, cement alternatives. Recycled byproducts are used to create cement-like substances including steel slag, fly ash from coal-fired facilities or some types of clay.
Unless legislation or taxes are put in place to that will slow the production of concrete the industry will not make the shift to greener solutions.
Source: The Guardian