Industry-Wide Collaboration Puts Sustainable Messages Into Action
The Concrete Joint Sustainability Initiative announced at this year’s World of Concrete its 2010 goals and initiatives to align sustainable development activities within the concrete industry.
Formed last year, Concrete JSI is a unified group of 26 concrete associations dedicated to promoting the sustainable attributes of concrete as a building material. Initially chartered by the American Concrete Institute, National Ready Mixed Concrete Association and the Portland Cement Association, the group was formed to align advocacy, technology and educational resources related to concrete sustainability.
“This never-before-seen collaboration of the many market segments of the concrete industry will bring together its diverse resources to convey the social value of building sustainable homes, roads, schools and other structures,” said Aris Papadopoulos, vice chairman of the PCA Board of Directors and chair of the Concrete JSI.
This year’s activities of the Concrete JSI include the distribution to the industry a series of nine PowerPoint presentations that communicate the purpose of the partnership and discuss each of the eight social values of concrete, as defined by the group. Member organizations will use these presentations to introduce both internal and external audiences to the shared message of concrete sustainability. The presentations are available on the Web site www.SustainableConcrete.org.
The Web site, in addition to being a resource center for the members of the Concrete JSI, serves as the industry’s primary portal for educational and outreach efforts related to the sustainability of concrete structures. Included are links to the sites of all member associations.
The organization is also mapping out the research and development programs of each of its member organizations to identify synergies, overlaps and gaps to further develop and refine the research base related to concrete sustainability. The result will be the minimization of the duplication of activities among the member organizations and the further cooperation in areas of technical committees, educational seminars, publications, certification, marketing and other related activities pertaining to sustainable development.
As the group moves forward with its initiatives, it also plans to maintain a presence at major sustainable building events and to magnify the industry’s visibility and impact on green building practices.
“The concrete industry has reacted positively and implemented many improvements in sustainable development,” said Florian Barth, ACI president and vice chair of the Concrete JSI. “By ratifying this agreement, we not only agree to work together, but also establish that we have the same vision to share this planet responsibly.”
All Concrete JSI member organizations have signed the charter “Joint Declaration of Industry Vision for a Sustainable Future,” which contains nine declarations that provides its guiding principles. At its core are eight specific social values concrete structures contribute:
Conserve Resources: Concrete structures throughout their lifecycle are efficient users of energy, water, land and other resources.
Safer Living: Concrete structures provide a superior level of user safety, protection and peace of mind.
Lower Cost: Concrete structures provide economic advantage both from a total cost of ownership perspective and from greater local content benefit to communities.
Protect Communities: Concrete structures offer greater disaster resistance, protecting essential community services and business continuity.
Durability: Concrete structures outlast the useful lives of other structures with minimal maintenance and repair.
Reduce Waste: Concrete structures over their lifecycle produce a reduced level of byproducts (including CO2), use the byproducts of other activities and can ultimately be recycled themselves.
Beauty: Concrete structures can be designed to create esthetic quality for both users and their surroundings.
Connecting People: Concrete structures provide the essential links (roads, bridges, ports, utility infrastructure, etc.) that enable society to function safely and efficiently, and prosper financially.