Primer

Impact of Concrete Extends to Sand and Gravel Production

Portland cement takes a lot of heat for concrete’s carbon emissions, but water quality, land use, and transportation count too, especially because of aggregate.

Concrete is the most common building material on earth, and it is infamously estimated to contribute at least 5% of global CO2 emissions. Portland cement typically takes the heat for this impact, but as the binder, it makes up only 10%–15% of the mix. Production of virgin aggregate, which makes up 60%–75%, can have major impacts as well.

Published November 1, 2013