Technology to turn cement green

Technology is set to become even more environmentally friendly this year as companies pursue a green agenda, according to research from business advisory firm Deloitte.

In 2010, technology’s contribution to CO2 reduction could result in electric cars, more efficient aeroplanes and greener data centres.

One largely overlooked industrial product likely to undergo an environmental makeover is cement. Cement production represents approximately five per cent of global emissions, almost double that of the aviation sector.

According to Deloitte’s predictions for the TMT sector in 2010, this year should see the world’s first laboratory scale carbon-negative cement plant, with an industrial scale plant expected in 2011.

Chris Robertson, partner in Deloitte’s technology, media and telecommunications  (TMT) practice in Birmingham, said: “Cement is an essential driver of economic growth and the introduction of carbon-negative cement production is a step in the right direction.

“The total resulting reduction in global CO2 emissions and construction costs could be significant but the full benefits of carbon-negative cement won’t be realised for another five to ten years, when the first carbon-negative pavements and driveways are likely to appear.

“It will be some time before we see carbon negative skyscrapers though.”

The telecommunications sector will also focus on reducing CO2 emissions this year with manufacturers introducing features such as chargers that turn off and a single charger standard.

“In 2010, the global telecommunications sector will focus heavily on reducing CO2 emissions, with cost control being the common driver in developed and developing countries,” said Mr Robertson.

“More reliable network technology could translate into a reduction in the emissions produced by maintenance teams and equipment manufacturers will continue to improve network efficiency.”

However, the outlook is less rosy for solar power technology, which Deloitte predicts could struggle in 2010 due to the cost of solar equipment, tools and raw materials, as well as overcapacity and weak economics.

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