Built Greener: Holcim EPDs On-Demand – An Australian first for buildings and infrastructure

26 March 2021

In an Australian first, Holcim achieved an EPD Process Certification to provide Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) on-demand for its ready-mix concrete. This means Holcim can provide third-party verified environmental data for any project, any mix and at any stage of the project life cycle; giving customers insight into the real impacts of their projects for the first time. 

 

With innovation and sustainability at the heart of everything we do, we’re committed to building a world that’s greener, smarter and that works for all.

All around the world, the expectation to provide enhanced transparency and disclosure of environmental impacts, such as greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, has been growing. At the same time, the global demand for construction materials is also growing due to worldwide population growth and an increase in urbanisation. In fact, concrete is the second most used commodity in the world behind water, and typically a major contributor to the embodied GHG emissions of an infrastructure or property asset. This clearly demonstrates both the essential need for construction materials now and in the future, as well as the necessity for the construction materials industry to be a leading part of the solution addressing climate change.

However, for many stakeholders, the sustainability space is filled with complexity. Although Environmental Product Declarations provide decision-makers with environmental impact data, until now there hasn’t been a way to ensure this represents the specific concrete mix supplied into projects on the ground.

At Holcim, we recognise our responsibility to transparency, and the importance of understanding our products’ environmental footprint to contribute to global emissions reduction targets. When we first launched ViroDecs™ EPD in 2019, we were pleased by the positive response from the industry. But, the message was clear “we want transparency, and we want an evidence-based approach to specification, procurement and reporting”. Evan Smith, Holcim Sustainability Lead.

Holcim ViroDecs™ EPDs on-demand is the next step in our transparency journey. It provides EPDs for any existing and future mixes, for any specific project, at any stage. This capability represents a significant step in Holcim’s and Australia’s construction sectors’ sustainability journey. This third-party verified data allows Holcim to work with its customers from tender through to design and construction to optimise ready-mix concrete mix designs and report on sustainability performance. This now also allows Holcim’s customers to specify ready-mix concrete’s environmental performance requirements in terms of kilogram equivalent of carbon dioxide (kg CO2-e).

 

The EPD process certification of Holcim’s ViroDecs™ EPDs on- demand is a landmark achievement in the Australian building and infrastructure space. It provides for the first time a streamlined pathway for assessing the environmental performance of customised concrete mixes in a manner that is scientifically robust and verifiable. Edge is proud to have been a part of this journey.

Jonas Bengtsson, CEO of Edge Environment
 

Benefits

  • Project-specific independently verified data, including all embodied carbon information
  • Customised sustainability performance
  • Allows informed decisions on how to reduce your environmental impact and tackle embodied carbon in the built environment
  • Seamless end-to-end Holcim customer experience
  • Design and build with complete transparency and confidence

 

Holcim ViroDecs EPDs on-demand is backed by an EPD Process Certification. In March 2021, Holcim became the first Australian company to gain this certification. This was achieved by third party verification of Holcim Australia’s EPD Process lifecycle model and internal organisational process by an ISO/IEC 17065 accredited Certification Body. Through the EPD Process Certification, Holcim was audited to verify compliance with the relevant standards and guidelines of the International EPD Programme and EPD Australasia.

Our EPD Process Certification is a stamp of approval to produce compliant EPDs in-house, opening up significant capability and flexibility in producing and using life cycle impact data to inform our operations and our customers.

This EPD Process Certification is applicable for ready-mix concrete produced at any Holcim Australia concrete batching plant. 

As a business we have long led the way with regard to transparency and third-party verification. Now, we plan to take the industry a step further and demonstrate how this transparency can translate into significant action. At Holcim, we know that the time for change is now. Supporting sustainability through innovation has never been more important. Together with our customers, we will make sure the world we share is greener and smarter – because the future isn’t written, it’s built.

 
An edge for industry

An edge for industry

Holcim is proud to launch ViroDecsTM, our new brand for our range of ready-mix concrete represented by an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD).