The backbone of sustainable construction

Concrete is the most widely-used construction material in the world. It is part of our everyday lives. However, its ubiquitous nature often means it is taken for granted. The Concrete Initiative aims to increase awareness of its essential role in creating a sustainable construction sector in Europe.

The project is led by CEMBUREAU (the European Cement Association), BIBM (the European Federation of Precast Concrete), EFCA (European Federation of Concrete Admixtures Association), ERMCO (the European Ready-Mixed Concrete Organisation) and UEPG (the European Aggregates Association).


Concrete is a building material made by combining cement, water, aggregates (gravel, stone and sand) and, often, admixtures. Concrete is used in virtually any construction you can think of - from roads, to buildings, railways and bridges.


The Concrete Initiative wishes to engage with stakeholders on the issue of sustainable construction, and in particular the barriers and solutions to harness its multiple benefits.

It examines the economic, social and environmental implications of sustainable construction and the need for a balanced approach among these three pillars. It shows how the construction industry, including concrete, can help find solutions to Europe's challenges. This means increasing understanding of the significant role of concrete in all three areas of sustainable construction. This publication therefore also outlines the benefits of sustainable concrete construction to Europe, as well as revealing some surprising facts, figures and examples on the key attributes of concrete.

The Concrete Initiative's manifesto has three objectives. Firstly, it seeks to encourage policy measures and standards that stimulate growth and innovation. Secondly, it sets out to improve the environmental and social impacts of the industry. Finally, it lays out the Concrete Initiative's commitments towards Europe's sustainable future.


The "concrete industry" is made up of several industries. The aggregates, cement and admixtures industries all supply materials to ready-mix and precast concrete. The term "concrete industry" should be taken to mean this ensemble of industries involved in the manufacturing of concrete and concrete products.

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