Impact : Energy, Water
Cement is used in most construction methods. Making cement is very energy intensive. Manufacturing one metric ton of cement releases 650 to 920 kilograms of CO2. The nearly 3 billion metric tons of cement that were produced worldwide last year accounted for about 5% of all CO2 emissions.
Some companies are manufacturing waterproof concrete which can be recycled, reducing the lifecycle footprint of a building. Others are working on cement production method that could absorb more CO2 that it releases. Here magnesium silicate is used and as the cement hardens, CO2 in the air reacts to make solid carbonate strengtheners. If this technology by Novacem takes off, cement manufacturing could essentially be carbon negative.
In order for the technology to become commercially viable, key stakeholders such as construction companies and governments must each contribute. Business would need to acquire funding to mass produce the technology in order to reduce prices. Once prices become competitive Governments could put quotas or re-think cement standards which would compel construction companies to use green cement. Lastly, customer awareness about the benefits of green cement could also aid in the wide spread acceptance of said technology.