Construction News

Fri May 29 2020

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New lobby group to speak up for concrete

26 Feb The Mineral Products Association (MPA) has launched UK Concrete, a new lobbying vehicle for the UK’s concrete industry.

Chris Leese – voice of reason or devil's advocate, depending on your perspective
Chris Leese – voice of reason or devil's advocate, depending on your perspective

With concrete under fire for its hefty embedded carbon, UK Concrete hopes to persuade politicians, the media and the public that the material is not all bad; that it is a core construction component, that is long-lasting and recyclable, and that producers are working hard to lessen the material’s environmental impact.

Chris Leese, a former vice president of Cemex UK, has been appointed director of UK Concrete and will be responsible for rolling out the organisation’s programme to promote concrete’s benefits.

Given some of concrete's recent press – The Guardian calls it 'the most destructive material on earth' – he has his work cut out.

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Chris Leese said: “Concrete is essential for our economy and our way of life, now and in the future. New homes, schools, hospitals, workplaces, roads and railways, as well as the infrastructure that provides us with clean water, sanitation and low-carbon energy, all depend on concrete and create the demand for it.

“It is time for the features and benefits of concrete to be recognised and valued together with the commitments the industry is making to support the transition to a net zero carbon society by 2050. Part of our new role will be to highlight the progress the industry is already making to lower concrete’s carbon footprint, through the development of materials that allow us to build faster and more cost effectively, and showcasing the benefits of using concrete for a sustainable built environment throughout the UK.

“It is therefore critical that we engage constructively with policy makers and influential stakeholders to promote the advantages of choosing concrete, including strengthening the resilience of our housing and infrastructure against fire, flooding and other threats.”

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