Sustainability in a Sunburnt Country
February 26, 2020
Guest post by Brendan Liveris – Sustainability Manager
As Australians, we are used to challenging weather conditions in summer. But with so much of our beautiful country burning, this summer has proven to be the most challenging yet.
If there are any green shoots to come from this devastation, it is a broader community recognition of the challenges we face to keep our towns and cities sustainable.
Many businesses, including Alex Fraser, have been working a long time in the space of sustainability and watched end user interest in sustainability issues such as ‘recycling’ continue to grow over the years. This increasing community interest can be seen here, on the chart of Google search result trends for ‘recycling’.
This makes for an interesting time in the construction materials industry; one where we have an opportunity to do things differently to make a scalable difference.
Products such as recycled glass sand, and recycled construction and demolition waste, contribute directly to a circular economy, reducing the strain on virgin materials while simultaneously diverting waste from to landfill. The reuse of this waste materials has also been demonstrated to reduce total carbon emissions, and in most cases, reduce the number of trucks and kilometres required to transport materials to construction projects. This can significantly reduce the carbon footprint of new infrastructure.
Further, the reduced impact on our broader environment alone cannot be overstated. The World Economic Forum recently rated biodiversity loss in the top five global risks in terms of likelihood and impact. The more we can reuse, the better.
So, what does that all mean?
It means that we have an opportunity to make a significant positive impact by using recycled materials in our roads and construction. Demand across Australia means that there is a growing opportunity to choose recycled materials in construction projects as a supplement to the virgin materials on offer.
Alex Fraser’s Green Roads is a great example of this process in action. It contributes directly to the circular economy by giving waste products a second life and be of ongoing value to the broader community.
RAP (recycled asphalt pavement) is a common ingredient in new roads and can be used over and over as roads need replacing. Asphalt can be recycled again and again. With the addition of glass and/or plastic, as in the case of Alex Fraser’s high recycled asphalt mix – PolyPave™, these innovative recycled options contribute to the circular economy in multiple ways.
If the Google search trend is a good indicator, interest in recyclable construction options as a strategy within the circular economy will continue to grow. The good news is – we already have so many ways to make it happen.
Introducing Brendan Liveris:
Brendan is the Group Sustainability Manager for Hanson Australia, parent company of Alex Fraser.
Having worked with Hanson since 2011, Brendan has high level experience in concrete and aggregate operations as well as customer service and logistics across in Australia and Europe.
His focus includes managing our Australian businesses’ contribution to Heidelberg Cement’s 2030 Sustainability Plan and looking for alternative material opportunities to support sustainability and business goals in Australia.
Brendan is a regular contributor to Green Roads. His bi-monthly articles will provide updates on the Hanson Group of Companies’ sustainability journey.