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The European gypsum industry

World Cement,

The European gypsum industry is one of the few fully integrated industries within the construction products field. It covers the whole lifecycle of the product. The companies that extract the mineral ‘gypsum’ also process it and manufacture the value-added products and systems mainly used in construction. Gypsum products are eternally and fully recyclable as they always keep their natural properties during use. Therefore, the gypsum companies strive to effectively recycle the products at the end of their lifecycle (demolition waste).

Environmental concerns

Industrial processes, from material extraction, product manufacturing through to product disposal, have an adverse impact upon the environment. The gypsum industry aims to reduce environmental stress caused whilst encouraging innovation, resource efficiency and sustained growth. It acknowledges that industry will continue to operate and expand, but it is conscious of its environmental responsibilities to have fewer burdens upon the planet.

Avoiding pollution

Increased resource efficiency

The industry promotes clean production processes without dust. We prevent production waste or recycle it; we recycle construction waste and we implement strict safety policies at the workplace for better process efficiency.

Material substitution

The substitute to natural gypsum is FGD gypsum (Flue Gas Desulphurisation gypsum). The rise in FGD production is consequently slowing down the rate at which natural gypsum reserves are exploited. FGD gypsum is generated by coal-fired power stations during the process designed to clean sulphur from the exhaust gases. Gypsum produced by this means is equivalent to extracted gypsum and satisfies the same performance and quality standards.

Using gypsum waste as a resource

Gypsum is furthermore a raw material that can be eternally recycled to manufacture gypsum-based products (closed-loop recycling), relying on a sound environmental management system to create biodiversity before, during and after quarrying.

Author: Christine Marlet, Eurogypsum.

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