Concrete Facts About Sustainability

The ready mixed concrete industry is dedicated to upholding the principles of sustainable development-development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs-by attempting to balance social, economic and environmental impacts.

Sustainability has become part of the fabric of society. Corporations in every industry are shaped by their customers' desire to be more environmentally responsible. Companies that adopt sustainable practices will become preferred suppliers. While environmental performance, including greenhouse gas emissions, will be increasingly monitored and regulated, voluntary initiatives such as the one presented here will help achieve ambitious sustainability goals.

Construction industry stakeholders-including project owners, designers, contractors and product manufacturers-are especially affected by the challenges of sustainable development since the built environment has significant environmental, social and economic impact on our lives and planet. On one hand, our built environment provides us with places to live and work and contributes to a robust economy and societal needs. On the other, operating our buildings, houses and infrastructure consumes enormous amounts of energy and valuable resources. Building products require natural resources and energy to produce and transport. New construction projects can burden natural habitats.

The concrete industry is uniquely positioned to meet the challenges of sustainable development. Its products help improve the overall environmental footprint of the built environment. For example, high performance concrete wall and floor systems help improve energy performance of buildings. Light colored pavements reduce urban heat islands and minimize lighting requirements. Pervious concrete pavements reduce and treat stormwater runoff. Concrete is extremely durable and provides for long service life.  And the industry continues to develop new sustainable products through research and development.

We are dedicated to continuous improvement through product and process improvements. The industry continues to increase the use of recycled materials, including industrial by-products, thus conserving valuable natural resources and reducing process energy required to manufacture concrete. The industry continues to explore new ways to further reduce the carbon footprint through the development of innovative cements and concrete mixtures. Concrete companies also strive to improve manufacturing processes, including the use of alternative energy sources, to minimize the energy of production and the associated greenhouse gas emissions. Finally, the industry continues to enhance transportation efficiency and delivery methods to reduce the environmental impact of the construction process.