Materials Efficiency

Performance indicator

The concrete industry, as well as recycling its own process waste, is very active in the use of by-products, secondary materials and material diverted from the waste stream to reduce its demands on primary raw materials.

Replacement of fossil fuels

Material diverted from the waste stream for use as a fuel source, as a percentage of total energy use


Replacement of fossil fuels

The concrete industry indicator shows the proportion of energy derived from materials diverted from the waste stream as a percentage of total energy use.

The value of 30.2% for 2012 has exceeded the target of 21%. The 2020 target has been set at 50% requiring a significant improvement from the 2008 baseline value of 17.3%.


Additional cementitious materials

The amount of additional cementitious materials as a proportion of total cementitious materials


Additional cementitious materials

The indicator reports the percentage of additional cementitious material as a percentage of the total cementitious materials.

The values for this indicator are consistently around 30% but the 2012 target of 33% was not reached. As the level of additional cementitious is related to the mix of concrete being produced this indicator is affected by the types of project in the marketplace. The target has been extended to 35% for 2020.


Recycled/secondary aggregates

The use of recycled/secondary aggregates as a proportion of total aggregates used


Recycled/secondary aggregates


Depending on the application and the type of concrete there is often an opportunity to incorporate recycled aggregates previously used in other projects and secondary aggregates that may be by-products from other processes e.g. ‘stent’ from china clay production and granulated slag from steel making.

Environmentally it is preferable to use these materials as close as possible to their origin, although their embodied CO2 value can exceed virgin materials. This decision should be made on a project basis to ascertain benefit. For this reason the concrete strategy does not include a numerical target for the proportion of recycled/secondary aggregates of the total aggregates used but reports on the trend. This has been consistent at around 5% by mass in concrete production, although some products can have significantly higher levels.


Recycled steel reinforcement

Steel reinforcement manufacturing BAR members used around 94% of recycled ferrous metal waste as a proportion of the raw materials consumed in their electric arc furnaces (EAF). While reinforcement fabricators used 100% EAF material in producing and supplying rebar for use in concrete.


Please read Our Strategy 2020 Commitments here. Further information on the materials efficiency indicator can be found in the full report.