I dagens episode tager vi en tur op i helikopteren og diskuterer et af de helt store emner. Nemlig hvordan løser vi klimakrisen, og hvordan det spørgsmål har en forbindelse til beton, bygge- og anlægsbranchen. For hvad skal der egentlig til, for at betonindustrien kan begynde at kalde sig selv for bæredygtig? 

Til at svare på det spørgsmål har vi inviteret vores egen administrerende direktør Steffen Kremmer og salgsdirektør Claus Hansen fra SKAKO Concrete A/S i studiet. Dine værter er Steen-Flemming Elmarlund og Mikkel Svold, som vil guide dig igennem første episode af SKAKO’s podcastserie: Green Concrete – Green Plant Vision.  


SKAKO blog post, March 2022 – by Ida Helleskov / Montanus.co

When looking for a car to buy, an electric car is certainly not a bad choice if you want to be climate-conscious. However, if you expect your choice to solve the climate crisis, you will be sorely disappointed.

This might be a surprise considering how much focus is on electric cars. Not only should we all buy one; we should also eat vegetarian, take shorter showers, and sort our trash into the smallest possible segments in order to reduce our CO2 emissions.

But in the grand scheme of things, it is insufficient.

The emission from passenger cars constitutes 8%, or 3 billion metric tons per year, of the overall global emissions. Getting to net-zero emission is impossible if we ignore the emissions from building and construction.

The concrete production industry is responsible for 8% of the global emissions as well, making it equally as important to focus on as the emissions from passenger cars. If cement alone was a country, it would be third in CO2 emissions in the world, only surpassed by the USA and China.

Looking at concrete is therefore absolutely essential if we are to aim for a net-zero emission strategy.

Why Do We Even Need Concrete?

Concrete has become a very necessary resource in construction. It is not irreplaceable per se, but it has properties that would be difficult to duplicate at the same strength, the same efficiency, and the same cost.

It is also in growing demand, especially when considering the growing middle class in many Asian countries. This creates a growing demand for more homes of a sturdier built, especially as many of the larger cities expand to accommodate the growing number of people wishing to live and work there.

There is no way around the fact that concrete is the cheapest, easiest, and fastest way to build an apartment building.

Taking that, and the fact that the concrete production industry is such a large sinner when it comes to CO2 emissions, into consideration, it becomes obvious that the demand for green concrete will only keep growing.

So, the question is: “How can concrete production become green?”

Green Concrete Changes the Construction Game

Green concrete is a blanket term for different ways to make concrete that emit less CO2 than the traditional way of making it. It is something that is constantly researched, tested, and developed as there are many ways to make concrete greener.

For those who do not know much about the concrete industry, it is easy to say, ‘just use less cement, since that is the biggest sinner’.

However, green concrete needs to live up to the same standards as traditional concrete, and simply cutting the use of the cement down would significantly change not only the consistency but also the strength of the concrete.

That’s not to say that it’s impossible, it is just a lot more complicated than cutting down on the cement. Methods of creating greener concrete by looking at the formula include changing the ratios of all the ingredients in it, as well as using crushed-up old concrete. The newly developed methods are constantly tested to ensure the quality of concrete is not compromised.

Today, the production of greener alternatives to traditional concrete includes:

However, making these changes does not come easily. In the following, we will take you through some of the main obstacles.

Roadblocks for Green Concrete

RULES AND REGULATIONS are necessary to ensure the sufficient quality and safety of our buildings. But sometimes the regulations become outdated as new technology is being developed. That’s the case when it comes to green concrete.

There are greener alternatives for concrete, but because of regulations, these are not more widely used. Additionally, the regulations in Denmark differ from those in China, making it hard to come up with a universal solution that can satisfy all national markets.

Because the regulations differ, there are some countries in which ACCESSIBILITY becomes a problem.

Denmark, for example, has passed legislation to ensure that the price of green concrete is not that far above the price of traditional concrete. This has created a demand that goes above the actual production capabilities, making green concrete harder to access in Denmark and countries with similar legislation to ensure that green concrete prices are around the same level as the price of traditional concrete.

However, in countries that do not have that kind of legislation, the PRICE of green concrete is a deterrent for many. Because it requires different ingredients and most of the time also other equipment and machines to produce, the price of green concrete is naturally higher than that of traditional concrete. That means traditional concrete is the cheapest choice in most places, making it the obvious choice for those who have a limited budget.

As mentioned above, green concrete usually requires different MACHINES AND EQUIPMENT than traditional concrete.

UHPC, for example, requires more power in the mixing process to ensure that the additives that make it high performing are mixed in properly. This means that to properly produce green concrete, an investment into new machinery often has to be made by the companies that produce concrete. They can be unwilling or unable to make this investment, especially if the demand for green concrete is not high in the area they occupy.

Although these obstacles do indeed slow down the pace of the development of green concrete, we have already made good progress. Both end-customers, concrete producers, and equipment manufacturers have an interest in creating better and greener solutions with regard to concrete.

Where Do We Go from Here?

As this article aptly shows, there is a variety of possible solutions when it comes to green concrete.  

It’s an area in constant development, with all aspects of the concrete production being tweaked and tested to see how it affects the product.

And that is the way it should be.

But if we want green concrete to become the new norm in the concrete production industry, we need the regulations to keep up with the progress that is constantly made.

The current methods of producing green concrete allow the industry to lower our CO2 emissions, but we know that these can be lowered even further with more research and testing.

That’s why green concrete is still in development and will continue to be so for a long time until we have achieved the greenest possible way to produce concrete. Until that is achieved, buying electric cars is a good way to make a personal contribution to lowering CO2 emissions.

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