Press release | 25 February 2019 | London

GCCA Statement on Guardian ‘Concrete Week’ launch

Concrete is vital for a future sustainable world.

The Guardian’s ‘Concrete Week’ is a great opportunity to look at a range of important issues associated with concrete, and it is right to examine some of the important challenges the world faces. However, inadequately covering the significant work already underway by the sector, as well as underplaying concrete’s critical benefits, gives an incomplete picture.

Concrete is the world’s most used man-made material for a reason – it is locally sourced, resilient, durable, fire safe, and fundamental for infrastructure, clean water and vital structures for the clean energy of tomorrow.

We recognise there are challenges in cement and concrete production and have been working hard over many years to find solutions. There are some important innovations already underway and by collaborating with partners in the built environment we can make an important contribution to reducing global emissions. We are fully committed to continuing to take climate action and to move towards a sustainable future.                     

Concrete’s contribution to society over its whole life should always be considered. It has many important benefits such as its ability to reabsorb CO2 from the atmosphere, as well as its thermal mass properties which means that it can reduce the energy needs of buildings. 

We are working across the full value chain, including with engineers and architects to maximise its benefits, whilst addressing the essential standards that the world expects. Good design of buildings and structures will be important now and in the future. 

Only putting across one side of the debate is narrow and fails to address the realities of the needs of a significantly growing global population and increasing urbanisation. Safe homes and buildings, clean water and resilient infrastructure will be needed in the future world – all of which concrete can provide.

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