Earth Friendly Concrete has already saved the equivalent of 29 return flights from London to Melbourne in CO2 emissions on the HS2 construction project
The revolutionary ultra-low carbon concrete called Earth Friendly Concrete (EFC) has supplied more than 2,000m3 to the UK’s flagship High Speed 2 rail project – a total reduction of nearly 500 tonnes of carbon dioxide compared to if traditional Portland Cement-based concrete had been used. This is the equivalent to an individual taking 29 return flights from London to Melbourne. EFC is being poured for HS2’s construction conveyors which will be in place for the next decade at least on the eastern and central London sections of HS2 from Euston to Acton.
With the built environment accounting for 25% of the UK’s carbon emissions, HS2 is mitigating its carbon footprint by using EFC because it typically emits 75% fewer carbon emissions than traditional concrete. If Earth Friendly Concrete was used for the whole of HS2, it would reduce its carbon footprint by 2.5m tonnes of CO2 – the same in weight as 38 of the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carriers.
At the heart of the HS2 works is EFC’s collaborative business dynamic. The only way to secure the UK’s net zero future is by industry members working alongside each other to achieve goals that are in everybody’s interests. To provide our ultra-low carbon concrete to HS2 we have worked closely with SCS Railways at Acton, John F Hunt at Euston and Keltbray at Maria Fidelis, where EFC has been used for various applications including conveyor foundations, crane mats, piling mats and deep raft foundation slabs.
The core of EFC ultra-low carbon technology is the EFC Activator Solution; a geopolymer system that binds industrial waste to make zero-cement concrete. EFC is the only zero-cement concrete technology that has been proven at scale on real life commercial projects globally. Every cubic metre of Earth Friendly Concrete recycles around 400kg of waste materials and is, therefore, a major contributor to the circular economy. This contrasts with traditional concrete, which uses mainly Portland cement and water.
Concrete is the most widely used resource on the planet after water and contributes 8% of total world emissions. According to Chatham House, if the cement industry were a country, it would be the third largest emitter of carbon dioxide after the United States and China. With current housing targets and other infrastructure planned, such as HS2, over the next decades, EFC will be a key component to the UK achieving its net zero goal by 2050.
Andy Izod, UK Regional Manager for EFC said:
“EFC could drastically reduce the UK’s carbon footprint and accelerate the drive to net zero by
2050 – HS2 is a great example of a project that wants to build using high structural performance concrete, but needs it to be as environmentally friendly as possible. We are very grateful to our EFC delivery partner, Capital Concrete, and to the Integrated Project Team at Skanska-Costain-Strabag for their support.”
Kiro Tamer, Head of Environmental Sustainability at Keltbray said:
“Keltbray has been using EFC for temporary works elements since 2019 with great success and we have been leading the way in supporting EFC becoming a ‘go to’ construction product in the future for customers demanding more sustainable delivery. Together, materials and construction processes account for 11% of all carbon emissions globally. To decarbonise the sector we must eliminate both operational and embodied carbon emissions. EFC is particularly suited for permanent works use within piled foundations and this is a brilliant milestone to have reached at Maria Fidelis and for construction in the UK in general.”
Daniel Sweeny, Group Sustainability Manager for John F Hunt said:
“We have made significant progress in lowering our operational carbon within the Group; however, our greatest challenge now is working with our supply chain to reduce our embodied carbon. Collaborating with Capital Concrete to pour Earth Friendly Concrete at our HS2 Euston project, allowed us to save over 30t CO2e as a direct result. The consequence of this saving is being applied throughout John F Hunt, and we will increase our use of EFC, viewing it as a necessary product to help the construction industry achieve net zero.”