Cement is one of the most basic building materials used in construction today, from small buildings and stairwells to roads, bridges, runways and entire office complexes. Our modern infrastructure is simply unthinkable without cement. But the downside is that it’s also a major climate killer: it’s estimated that five percent of global CO2 emissions are generated by the cement industry, largely because the process of creating the material is highly energy-intensive.
That is where the Siam Cement Group in Thailand comes in. The company, one of the largest cement producers in the country, is striking a new path by using waste materials generated during the rice harvest to replace harmful fossil fuels. Since that releases fewer carbon emissions, the switch is being financially rewarded through the sale of surplus carbon certificates.