Sustainable Infrastructural Solutions

sustainable construction solutions
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Boral is committed to sustainability in our own products and operations, and to assisting builders, architects, developers, engineers and consumers achieve their sustainability goals through cost-effective, long-term construction solutions that address:
  • energy and greenhouse gas
  emission reduction
• water conservation
• waste management
• recycling
Energy Efficiency and Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction -
Manufacturing,Transport and Alternative Fuels

Energy conservation and its impact on climate change are key elements of Boral's environmental plans. The company is continually improving the energy efficiency of our operations and reducing the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from our processes to benefit our customers, the community at large and the environment.

In the Construction Materials business, energy use and emissions are driven by manufacturing and transport. The use of mobile asphalt and concrete plants at Victoria's EastLink project enabled us to locate the plants close to the site and maximise the transport efficiency of raw materials and products. Immediate access to site minimises impact on local road networks, reduces truck movements and GHG emissions.

The new Marulan hard rock quarry southwest of Sydney, due to commence operations in 2012, will transport all of its product to Sydney by rail. At 3.5Mtpa, this removes an estimated 250,000 truck movements from the road annually and thereby reduces GHG emissions by over 5,000 tonnes of CO2e.

Through its cement business Boral Cement and other Cement Industry Federation (CIF) members have developed the Greenhouse Energy Management System (GEMS), to address greenhouse issues by evaluating their position and offering practical solutions such as plant upgrades and alternative fuel programs to reduce emissions at both industry and company levels. Significant improvements at Boral Cement plants such as the Berrima cement works’ Kiln #6, which features world's best technology providing improved efficiencies in energy usage and emission reduction contributing to more eco-efficient cement, concrete and associated building products.

The use of alternative fuels significantly reduces fossil fuel usage thus reducing waste to landfill. Boral's cement works at Waurn Ponds in Victoria is a pioneer in the use of alternative fuels in the Australian cement industry. Waurn Ponds is achieving outstanding fuel reduction results by substituting almost 50% of its fossil fuel use with used car tyres, reprocessed waste oil, tallow residue and reprocessed spent carbon electrodes (Australian average substitution rate of alternative fuels is 5%). In addition to obvious savings in fuel costs, the site uses 1.5 million used tyres, or 50% of Victoria's supply, which would otherwise end up in landfill. Tyres are burned with 20,000 tonnes pa of spent carbon, reprocessed oil and tallow residue replacing the equivalent of 1 million GJ of natural gas - a primary resource.
Water Conservation - Boral strengthens its efforts
Water conservation is one of Boral's five key sustainability priority areas and we are committed to reducing water consumption through increased recycling, onsite collection and storage of rainwater, and conserving water across all our operations.
Boral continues to achieve impressive reductions in mains water usage. Boral Roofing's Carole Park plant in Queensland, for example, has saved around two million litres per annum of mains water, and the new Marulan Quarry outside Sydney will be self-sufficient in water under normal operating conditions. At Boral EastLink all site water, including stormwater runoff, is captured and recycled.

Boral's Construction Materials business in Queensland has developed the "Boral Water Grid" to systematically identify and implement water reduction initiatives, re-use opportunities, substitution of mains water with alternative sources, and distribution improvements that enable sites to share water. In addition, Boral is completing Water Efficiency Management Plans (WEMPs) for all its Asphalt, Concrete, Quarry and Transport sites in South East Queensland.

Boral is an active participant in the Every Drop Counts Business Water Conservation Program in NSW that helps industry save 20 million litres of water daily. As part of this program, Boral's Emu Plains quarry was recognised by Sydney Water as a 2006 winner in the Every Drop Counts Business Program. "This is an outstanding effort and in a time of severe drought, it is excellent to see industry playing its part in saving water." David Campbell, Water Utilities Minister, NSW.

Waste Management, Reuse, Recycle, Rehabilitate
Boral manages our substantial land holdings responsibly and sustainably, minimising our impact on the environment by progressively rehabilitating our quarries and by securing habitat through offsets and buffer land.

We manage extraction of non-renewable resources (such as quarry products) efficiently and competently, and recycle as much material as possible from our own businesses, from construction and demolition waste, and from by-products of other processes such as steel production (various iron wastes and slag are used as alternative raw materials in cement manufacture).

The Boral Recycling business recycles in excess of 1.5 million tonnes of construction and demolition waste annually, taking waste building materials and crushing them for reuse as aggregates in the manufacture of asphalt and concrete, and as a range of engineered road bases and general purpose aggregates including Envirocrete (VIC). In 1999 Boral partnered with Delta (a major civil and demolition contractor) in a joint venture now recycling over 700,000 tonnes annually, reducing landfill and conserving Australia's natural hard rock resources.

In Victoria, Boral operates a waste landfill business, part of our whole-of-life approach to quarry management. Natural gas created by the waste is used to generate renewable electricity, which we export to the electricity grid, providing an alternate low emission energy source.

Through Boral Ash, Boral collects and grades coal combustion by-products to provide building construction and manufacturing industries with durable, high quality, products for use as a green alternative to natural resources. Fly Ash, a by-product of coal combustion, and slag, a by-product of steel manufacture are both used in cement (Slagment) and concrete (Green Concrete). Fly Ash is used in many major road projects in NSW including the upgrade of the Pacific Highway, Chatswood to Epping Rail Tunnel and Lawrence Hargrave Drive (Seacliff Bridge).

Sources: 'Eastlink - A Sustainable Temporary Site', ACM VIC/TAS.