“Concrete is bad for the environment and increases CO 2 emissions . ”
We are constantly confronted with this or similar sentences. That's why we want to provide information about how much CO 2 emissions our concrete jewelry really generates and what we as a company can do to produce as environmentally friendly as possible.
First things first: We are aware that jewelry is a luxury good and cannot be manufactured completely without CO 2 emissions. For everyone who values special pieces of jewelry and who cares about the environment.
So how much CO² emissions do our concrete parts produce? To give you a clear comparison: per calendar year, all of our concrete parts produce as much CO² emissions (9360kg CO²-equivalent*) as four crates of mineral water , each containing 12 glass bottles .
*1 Consideration of CO2 eq. for the cement content of all concrete products currently sold in the range over a period of one year.
You can read in the following blog article why concrete is criticized at all, what our CO 2 balance is made up and what we as a company can do to minimize our CO 2 emissions.
How harmful is concrete to the environment?
Concrete has never influenced the modern cityscape as much as it does today. The high demand also increases attention and willingness to criticize its impact on the environment.
The main components criticized are cement and sand.
Cement (usually the Portland cement variety) has a high global warming potential (GWP) and produces 800 kg of CO 2 -eq* per ton of material extracted . The reason for this is the complex production, such as the extraction of the required raw material limestone from quarries, as well as its deacidification, the firing process in the blast furnace at high temperatures (1450°C), the additional fuel required and ultimately the transport.
Another critical component of concrete is sand. Sand is also considered a dwindling raw material. But it's not just a component of concrete, we also use more sand in everyday life than we think. According to current estimates, daily consumption is 18 kg per capita. In comparison: We need around 17.8 kg of sand for one year of concrete jewelry production, i.e. less than is contained in a standard sandbag (25 kg) from the hardware store and therefore less than the daily per capita consumption.
High-tech concrete – why it is superior to construction concrete
Would you have expected that a concrete pendant from the Mary necklace would have a lower GWP value than a shot glass (20ml) of mineral water, based on the CO 2 emissions of the cement content ?
One of the reasons for this is that we do not use the commercially available Portland cement, but rather CSA (potassium sulfoaluminate) cement . This cement has some advantages related to its GWP:
- It requires less limestone
- It has a lower firing temperature.
- It is softer and therefore less energy is required to grind the clinker.
- Compared to Portland cement, it uses 30% less CO2 emissions ( 587.0 kg CO 2 - eq*. per ton of cement) .
* Only the following process steps are considered: raw material supply, transport and production of the material.
In our production, only the supply of raw materials, the transport and the production of the building material have to be taken into account, unlike in the construction industry. Additional factors such as disposal, renewal, etc. must be taken into account here.
But we also try to keep our CO 2 footprint as low as possible in other areas.
A piece of jewelry = a planted tree
We are very proud of being able to give something back to the environment in addition to the regionally sourced ingredients and short transport routes for our products. Because for every piece of jewelry purchased in our online shop, we plant a tree together with the non-profit organization “ onetreeplanted” and have already been able to plant 16,778 trees. * Calculated over a year, approx . 250,000 kg of CO 2 are bound.