05 - 07 March 2024 | ExCeL, London

05 - 07 March 2024 | ExCeL, London

Opinion Piece

Net Zero Pioneer special: 60 seconds with Hanson

  1. Hanson Concrete is committed to reaching net zero by 2050. Looking specifically at concrete, what are you doing to achieve this?

Approximately 90% of the CO2 in a cubic metre of typical 35 MPa CEM I concrete comes from Portland cement. While we are investing heavily in fuel switching and carbon capture in order to realise net zero cement in the future, right now we are using our technical expertise to reduce overall cement contents and increase cement replacement levels with lower CO2 materials such as ground granulated blastfurnace slag. These advances are reflected in our recently launched EcoCrete concrete range of low carbon concretes, which can reduce embodied CO2 by up to 85%.

  1. What can be done now, in the wider industry, to support you with this?

We see two key challenges in particular for our customers:

  1. Avoiding specification of the same concretes on each project without understanding the negative impact on CO2. For example, the use of standardised prescribed mixes and also the unnecessary specification of minimum water cement ratios. Breaking old habits is key.
  2. Having an open mind to change and overcoming concerns that the use of low carbon concretes will affect build schedules. Historicallly cement replacements have meant much longer setting times. By engaging with customers at the project planning stage, Hanson can provide support to overcome these challenges and adopt new technologies, such as Eco-Accelerators, to speed up setting times.
  1. How are you making your customers aware of your innovations in low carbon concrete and how are they embracing the changes?

In April 2023, we hosted our ‘Let’s Talk Sustainability’ webinar with a focus on low carbon concrete and we also presented a paper on low carbon concrete at the Institute of Concrete Technology. We see the adoption of low carbon concrete making its way through the supply chain and we are proactively tackling the need for more information and understanding around the topics to continue to help this change.       

  1. Are there any digital technologies available to help carbon reduction in concrete?

Firstly, with our EcoCrete range, we are making the CO2 values for a cubic metre of concrete visible at quotation stage and can do so, quickly, at the click of a button. Secondly, we can use SmartRock wireless maturity sensors to provide real-time temperature and strength data in-situ, which we see as the key enabler of EcoCrete low carbon concrete adoption.

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