Second only to water, concrete is the most consumed material on earth.
Only coal, oil and gas are a greater source of greenhouse gases.
The building sector is one of the biggest contributors to climate change, with nearly 40% of human-caused CO2 equivalent emissions. The Construction Industry is responsible for 40% of global resource consumption.
Twice as much concrete is used in construction as all other building materials combined. 30 billion tons of concrete are currently used every year and it will reach 60 billion tons in 2050.
Construction material represents around 35% of the waste generated each year worldwide. In some countries, this can reach up to 50% of the domestic waste generated each year. The construction sector represents more than 36% of the world’s final energy use. Up to 86% of this energy is supplied by fossil fuels.
The world’s population will increase by over 2.1 billion people by the year 2050, more than doubling the global housing stock demand – that’s the equivalent of building one New York City every month for the next 30 years.
Image above: The cement value chain. Source: Habert, G., Miller, S.A., John, V.M. et al. Environmental impacts and decarbonization strategies in the cement and concrete industries. Nat Rev Earth Environ (2020).
There are however, sustainable and low-carbon alternatives to the use of conventional concrete for the construction industry which are safe, complaint, resource efficient, affordable and offer significant carbon storage opportunities.
nonCrete aims to advance and promote such alternatives by building a global network of people and resources, dedicated to significantly reducing the negative environmental, economic and social impacts of the conventional construction industry.