The Spanish National Association of Ready-Mix Concrete Manufacturers (ANEFHOP) has issued a Guide on how to Cut Down on the Carbon Footprint of the Ready-Mix Concrete Industry to supply a number of guidelines that will help the sector obtain its objective of reducing its footprint by 40% for 2030 vis-à-vis the figures of 1990.
This guide was written last year by a group of experts and technicians from the associate companies and it has been presented in an online event that fifty representatives from the concrete sector took part in.
As the speakers pointed out, according to the studies published 38% of the emissions are due to building and the construction industry. A fact that, in view of the current climate conditions, highlights how important it is to work to make the sector and buildings more sustainable. “To carry on growing in the sector we need to attain these environmental objectives, seeing as it won’t be just our customers and society that demand more sustainable products from us, we are also going to have to invest to compete with other materials that are going to fight to reduce their carbon footprint”, acknowledges Albert Gómez, the president of the Sustainability Committee of ANEFHOP.
Although the majority of the direct CO2 emissions associated with concrete come from the production of cement, contributing to more than 85% of its carbon footprint, there are different areas where measures can be taken to get to Net Zero. In this regard, more than 55% of the emissions could be reduced by designing the structures better and through CO2 capture at the concrete plants.
“Apart from technology, this guide is intended to be a tool to be used by the plants to achieve these commitments by following scalable action proposals such as using cement that has a lower carbon footprint, reducing transportation distances with more local raw materials or the digitization and the optimization of the design of structures and the construction of them”, points out José Antonio Hurtado, the coordinator of the Work Group that has put this document together.
The Guide therefore includes 8 areas of activity that include the whole life cycle of a structure so that, through smart planning, a more efficient amount of concrete is used. These proposals are:
- Optimizing resource savings
- Volume efficiency
- Structure flexibility
- Thermal properties and moisture protection
- Reuse of the whole structure
- Structural design
Being aware of the reality of the sector and the problems it faces, ANEFHOP believes that this Guide will be a tool that cement plants can use, without compromising reliability, while they continue to attain objectives to meet the challenges posed in the circular economy.