Skip to main content

Concrete industry makes significant progress towards sustainability vision

World Cement,

The concrete industry is making significant progress towards its vision of being recognised, by 2012, as the leader in sustainable construction. It has published its latest annual Concrete Sustainability Performance Report, which highlights the pan-industry commitment to achieve a wide range of sustainability performance targets. The report shows that the industry is not just achieving these targets but in many cases exceeding them.

This is the third report that follows the 2008 agreement between the nine sectors within the concrete industry to a pan-industry sustainability strategy. The agreement covers 74% of UK concrete production and commits the industry to the transparent reporting of the industry’s sustainability performance. The latest report is based upon 2009 production data and reports on 16 performance indicators and 13 targets.

The concrete industry is the first sector to link its sustainable construction materials strategy to the responsible sourcing standard developed by BRE, BES 6001 – ‘Framework Standard for the Responsible Sourcing of Construction Materials’. To date, 81% of concrete production is now responsibly sourced to BES 6001, thereby enabling designers to easily source certified materials and gain maximum credits in sustainability tools such as the Code for Sustainable Homes and BREEAM. This is a major achievement as BES 6001 was only published in October 2009 and within a year the vast majority of the concrete industry is certified to the standard. By comparison, according to the timber trade federation, it has taken over a decade to achieve a similar level of take up of product stewardship schemes.

Other areas where the industry has exceeded targets include the reduction of greenhouse gases and energy performance. There has been an almost 18% reduction of CO2 emissions for concrete production since 1990 and this exceeds the 2012 target. This has been achieved by the substitution of fossil fuels with waste-derived fuels in cement manufacturing and by the use of recycled and low carbon constituent materials – subject to their availability and suitability.

The concrete industry continues its impressive performance in waste minimisation. It is a net user of waste using over 4 million t of waste otherwise destined for landfill whilst generating just under 0.2 million t of waste.

Welcoming the progress being made, Andrew Minson, executive director of The Concrete Centre said: “The concrete industry is working together to ensure that it is not just in the forefront but is the leader in sustainable construction. All nine sectors of the industry are committed to continual improvement over and above legislative requirements and to the provision of transparent data that enables the delivery of a truly sustainable built environment”.

To download a copy of The Concrete Industry Sustainability Performance Report visit:

Read the article online at:

You might also like


Embed article link: (copy the HTML code below):