Green House Gas emissions were the highest in human history from 2000 to 2010. As illustrated in the chart below, the industrial sector is responsible for over 30% of these emissions.
One of the most energy intensive stages in industrial practice, particularly in the manufacturing and construction sectors, is in the processing of raw materials. If all products, appliances, and buildings were designed to employ the use of radically sustainable and low embedded energy materials, in their construction, this would be a significant step in the right direction.
Regardless of the sector in question – product development, manufacturing, construction, transportation, or fashion; the GHG footprint in the necessary raw materials, as well as the associated energy requirements are equally significant.
The table below gives an indicator of the range in CO2 footprint/embedded energy figures depending on the material in question. Organic materials such as wood, bamboo, bio-plastics, and up-and -coming carbon capture materials have a negative Carbon footprint as they absorb CO2 from the atmosphere locking it into their structure. Other widely used materials such as aluminium, steel, glass, PVC and concrete, require a significant amount of energy in their production – energy generation which in turn releases carbon/GHG’s into the atmosphere.