Saturday, October 13, 2007


Not as green as we're cabbage-looking

By 'eck! It seems the meejah really have got it in for the hard-landscaping industry. Hot on the heels of an ongoing "investigation" of ethical issues in the importation of stone for paving and walling, the gunsights are being re-targeted, and it's the cement and concrete industry that's in the firing line this time.

Friday's Guardian carried a full-page piece about the carbon-bootprint of cement manufacturing, and while there is valid cause for concern, there's no indication of how the environmental impact of cement can be reduced. The article makes reference to the "hard time" that's been given to the aviation industry over CO2 emissions, and hints that the same sort of rough ride might be on the cards for the cement trade, but fails to acknowledge that, while trips to Prague and Riga for stag weekends are a luxury that we could manage without (Blackpool isn't all that bad for pre-nuptual shenanigans!), the prospect of us going back to wattle and daub is much more fanciful.

Yes: cement manufacture churns out millions of tonnes of CO2 and consumes vast quantities of energy, but what's the alternative? Marshalls have been working to reduce their total carbon emission from block production, while Charcon have signed up to the Carbon Trust, and I know that most, if not all, Western cement manufacturers look at how they can maximise the quantity of cement produced for the minimum energy input, if only for economic rather than environmental reasons.

All life has an impact on the environment. We're all part of the environment and even the act of breathing emits carbon dioxide. It's impossible to exist without affecting the environment. Some activities can be portrayed as exorbitant and unsustainable; construction is vital and one of the activities that makes us human. As the Builder and Engineer awards on Wednesday night sought to emphasise, the construction industry is beginning to re-assess its environmental impact and develop working methods and materials that minimise any deleterious effect, but we will never reach a point where construction, or humanity, has zero impact. If we do, it means we've become extinct!

Hello Tony,

I have been reading your blog entry on the environment etc. As a ground worker I will be made responsible soon for my impact on the environment as the new SWMP (Site Waste Management Plans) take hold on all sites in the UK. I have been trying to get ahead of the game by looking into alternative materials, tools, methods etc. I would like to share with you and your reader’s one particular tool I discovered and have subsequently bought. The Cross-Bone is a plastic version of the standard timber profile. It is amazingly quick to set up, and packs away into its own kit bag. It is really tough and being bright orange the lads on site think its great, especially the partially sited old boys. I strongly recommend you look at their web site The main point I am making I suppose is that this piece of kit reduces the timber waste on site and so ticks the SWMP boxes straight off. Thanks and keep up the good work.

Regards Terry
Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]