Sustainable development can be defined as:
Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Ecocem is sustainable because:
Using Ecocem (GGBS) cement will ensure you are taking a very positive first step towards building a sustainable development.
The CO2 benefits have been discussed in a previous section. Under the definition of sustainable development as above, by reducing CO2 emissions we are helping fight climate change and thus not effecting future generations. The other two benefits are expanded in more detail below.
In the production of Portland cement, 1.6 tonnes of clay/shale and limestone are removed from our landscape for every tonne of Portland cement produced. However, there is zero depletion of our natural resources associated with the manufacture of GGBS.
The raw material for GGBS production is an industrial by-product. This means no extraction of limestone or clay in large scale quarries that both deplete our natural resources and disfigure the landscape, and no associated traffic, noise and dust problems that are also generated by large-scale quarrying.
The effect of GGBS on concrete durability means that the time to replacement of concrete products and structures is extended. Specifying GGBS to replace Portland cement in concrete is an essential requirement on all projects carried out under the aegis of sustainable development.
The longer service life of concrete containing GGBS reduces the demand on natural resources to meet the requirements of the construction industry. This applies to all ingredients in concrete: for every tonne of cement there are approximately 6 tonnes of sand/aggregates that also need not be replaced as long as the concrete remains in serviceable condition.
In short, extending the useful life of concrete has a major impact in reducing the demand for the extraction of new natural resources from the landscape, and is a significant contributing factor to sustainable development.
Most organisations now have a policy of recycling paper. A little effort is required to set up such a system, but the organisation that recycles paper is happy to advertise this as a demonstration of its environmental credentials. Recycling paper has now become an established and accepted method of ‘saving the environment’.
However if we look more closely at the impact of paper recycling on CO2 absorption, and compare it to the role GGBS can play, the results are quite dramatic. The example below illustrates the point clearly:
The message is simple:
Specifying GGBS is tens of thousands of times more effective in reducing CO2 emissions than recycling paper. Don’t stop recycling paper, but do start specifying GGBS cement.
Quarrying aggregates from the landscape for concrete
4. The effect is cumulative—the portion of the ‘tree’ saved in the first year continues to absorb CO2 over the 10 years, the ‘tree’ saved in year two continues to absorb CO2 over the next 9 years, and so on.