It's time for change...
COP26 has accelerated the conversation to drive the global decarbonisation of heavy industries, starting with steel, cement and concrete
Did you know….?
· The production of steel, cement and concrete is responsible for 14-16% of global energy-related CO2 emissions.
· Decarbonizing heavy industry is essential to secure a climate-safe future for humanity.
· 70% of global Greenhouse Gas emissions come from just 5 industry subsectors: cement, steel, aluminium, chemical industry and refining industry.
· Cement is the second most-consumed product in the world after water and the number one of the largest emitters of CO2 in the built environment.
· The Industrial Deep Decarbonization Initiative (IDDI) is one of the largest and most diverse coalitions focusing on rallying governments and the private sector to help create a transparent and equitable global market for low-carbon industrial materials, starting with steel and cement.
· One key area of work is to achieve a globally recognized approach to accounting for embodied carbon of construction materials, from manufacturing, to transport, installation, maintenance and disposal.
What is embodied carbon?
Embodied carbon means all the CO2 emitted in producing materials. The embodied carbon of a building includes all the emissions from the construction materials, the building process, all the fixtures and fittings inside as well as from deconstructing and disposing of it at the end of its lifetime.
The carbon impact of concrete
Concrete is the most widely used construction material in the world and is responsible for 6-10% of global anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. CO2 is released at two points during cement production: roughly 40% of the CO2 generated is from the burning of fossil fuels in the manufacturing process, and the remaining 60% is from naturally occurring chemical reactions during processing. The proportion of ingredients in a concrete mixture can greatly influence its carbon impact.
The carbon impact of gypsum board
Gypsum board (sometimes referred to as plasterboard or drywall) is a commonly used building finish material for walls, ceilings, and partitions, in part due to its inherent fire resistance. Gypsum board whilst still an energy intensive product to manufacture, is known as being environmentally friendly.
Gypsum binders are energy-saving materials because calcination processes occur at significantly lower temperatures than they do with cement and lime, usually within a range of 135–180°C compared to 1400° C for concrete. For this reason, fuel consumption will be lower and CO2 emissions from gypsum manufacturing are minor. Because of rapid setting and hardening, gypsum products do not require accelerated curing. They are lightweight and have excellent mouldability, fire resistance and sound resistance.
The other factor to consider is that gypsum is widely recyclable once the outer covering is removed. In fact, gypsum can be recycled into the manufacturing of concrete – not the other way around. Of course, getting the correct number of boards from the outset also reduces any waste.