Mark Gillespie, CEO of Recycl8
The importance of reducing the immense CO2 emissions of the concrete industry cannot be overstated. According to the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Low Carbon Concrete Routemap, in the UK alone, concrete accounts for approximately 1.2% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, although globally, the cement production GHG emissions associated with the use of concrete could be as high as 4%-5%.
While cement accounts for 10 – 15% of the make-up of concrete, it is responsible for nearly 90% of the CO2 emissions from its production. In the UK alone the annual CO2 emissions of cement production is a staggering * 9 million tonnes.
It’s important to note that there has been real progress in recent times, with overall CO2 emissions down by over a half from 1990 to 2018, so we have certainly made strides in the right direction. Nonetheless it’s clear that all stakeholders within the construction industry must work together if we are to achieve NetZero in the UK by 2050.
The ICE Routemap recommends a number of key measures which all stakeholders within the construction industry should embrace in order to reduce the impact of their operations on climate change. One of these carbon reduction measures is defined as improving how we make concrete: “Concretes that use other cements or constituents outside of current standards will be part of the overall solution to reducing the carbon intensity of the industry.”*
At Recycl8, we are on the cusp of bringing our pioneering contribution to this solution, to market. Our team of industry experts have developed a breakthrough process that repurposes Incinerator Bottom Ash (IBA) – the ash from waste incineration – into a low carbon, high performance solution for concrete manufacture. Our solution reduces the quantity of cement required to make concrete – and therefore the volume of CO2 that is generated in the process, without any sacrifice in strength or quality.
Close collaboration with the Energy-from-Waste and construction industries is crucial to our mission of reducing the carbon footprint of the concrete industry. We are committed to working with industry partners to develop, adapt and scale our sustainable, emission-shrinking solution, making good on our commitment to reducing climate change today, without compromising on the infrastructure required for the successful economies and communities of tomorrow.
* Source: UK GHG Nat. statistics 2021
*Source: ICE Low Carbon Concrete Routemap 2022