As the COP26 conference gets underway in Glasgow this week, there will be much discussion about how to reduce carbon emissions.
If concrete was a country it would be the largest emitter of CO2 after the US and China. Why so? Concrete (or the gluey part of it) is made by heating limestone and clay to 1,500°C to break it down into the form that is useful in construction. To add some context, a pizza cooks at about 200°C and we don’t consume anything like as much pizza as we do concrete.
This means that for every 5kg bag of Portland cement (pure concrete) that we take home to do some DIY, we leave 3kg of CO2 in the atmosphere from the process of making it. So, if you are building a dam or a viaduct that’s a lot of concrete.
There are serious developments in ‘green concrete’ but these remain marginal. Given the UK’s love of property we should all encourage developers, and especially re-developers, to cut out the … concrete.
We know many charities are developing responsible investment strategies. They often contact Yoke to help set an appropriate ethical policy and implement a sensible approach. If you want any advice or guidance on this, Yoke & Co is well positioned to help.