The National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA) has signed an agreement with several cement and concrete groups from around the world to develop an international responsible sourcing certification program for concrete. The project, which is spearheaded by the Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSI) of the World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD), includes cement and concrete groups from North America, South America and Europe. The agreement was signed on February 5 by NRMCA Chairman Bill Childs during a special ceremony at the International Concrete Sustainability Conference in Medellin, Columbia, one of several such conferences sponsored by NRMCA each year.
Responsible sourcing encourages environmentally, economically and socially responsible manufacturing and business operations. “NRMCA members are committed to continuous environmental improvement and operational excellence through product and process innovation. Our participation in the development of the international responsible sourcing program for concrete will support efforts toward meeting this commitment,” Childs says. The responsible sourcing program framework and details will be developed throughout 2014 and launched in early 2015.
With the recent release of the United States Green Building Council’s LEED v4, building product manufacturers are faced with opportunities of contributing to the new Material and Resources Credit: Sourcing of Raw Materials. LEED v4 is encouraging the use of building products that have environmentally, economically and socially preferable impacts. The new Responsible Sourcing credit rewards project teams for selecting products and materials verified to have been extracted or sourced in a responsible manner. The development of the new international responsible sourcing program for concrete will help concrete producers meet these new LEED requirements.
“NRMCA has been on the cutting edge of responsible manufacturing through programs such as the NRMCA Green-Star Certification and Sustainable Concrete Plant Certification,” says Robert Garbini, NRMCA president. The NRMCA Green-Star Certification program recognizes concrete plants that have adopted and implemented an Environmental Management System (EMS) for environmental benchmarking and continual improvement. The NRMCA Sustainable Concrete Plant Certification program provides a quantitative metric to allow ready mixed concrete producers to demonstrate high performance in sustainable extraction and manufacturing practices. It is anticipated that many of the components of the Green-Star and Sustainable Concrete Plant Certification programs will be incorporated into the new international responsible sourcing program for concrete. Details of these and other NRMCA sustainability programs can be found at www.nrmca.org/sustainability.