Sustainable binders and building materials

Climate change has made various measures unavoidable, also for the building sector. The construction world is already leading the way in the reuse of materials (concrete, road surfacing). This happened long before the term 'circularity' came into vogue.


Traditional concrete is a relatively cheap and easy-to-use building material. Sand, gravel and water are abundant as important raw materials for concrete. As such, they do not contribute to climate change, apart from a very small share due to extraction and transport.

Concrete is also produced using cement and this generates substantial CO2 emissions (approximately 9 percent of all CO2 emissions in the world; source: BetonInfra/CROW). It is mainly the production of cement (heating of lime) that causes this. The industry is therefore looking for alternatives to cement.

Sustainable alternative

With the advent of alternative binders, such as geopolymers, the concrete industry has managed to shape the carbon dioxide reduction. The Netherlands is the leader in this field and uses the least standard Portland cement of all countries in the world, in percentage terms. It is mainly the use of mineral residual flows that contributes to the reduction of theCO2 load of concrete in this case.


With the Concrete Agreement, the Dutch concrete industry has committed itself to reducing CO2 emissions across the board, and the SQAPE technology amply fulfils this commitment. Whereas cement, as a component of traditional concrete, produces a carbon footprint of 80%, this is reduced by 50 to 85% through the use of alternative raw materials. This makes SQAPE the most sustainable option of its kind on the Dutch market. By applying SQAPE, you can completely replace the use of cement with much more sustainable products without compromising on quality.

The extremely low CO2 footprint of SQAPE Geopolymer products is shown in the table below. Depending on the application, the reduction in CO2 emissions can be up to 85% (compared to applications with Portland cement).

KG CO2 -eq. A1-A3 per M2 Tile Reduction
Product kg CO2-eq.
Grass element with SQAPE technology 4,87
Grass element with cement 22,3

Life Cycle Assessment

A life cycle analysis (LCA) shows the environmental impact of a product, which also depends on factors such as extraction, transport and recycling. There is a good method available for this: EPD Environmental Product Declarations.

An LCA identifies the inputs - such as raw materials, energy, electricity mix, transport - for each production process. The effects on the environment are determined for each phase of use.

More benefits can be found on the pages ADDED VALUE and EQI.