Introducing Vertua - Low Carbon Concrete
and UK's first CarbonNeutral® concrete solution
We're proud to launch the UK’s first ready mixed concrete that is a CarbonNeutral product.
Our Vertua low carbon concrete range can offset any residual CO2 to provide a CarbonNeutral product, in accordance with The CarbonNeutral Protocol.
Our purpose is to build a better future, and unsurprisingly we think concrete is an essential part of construction. It is the second most consumed material on the planet (second only to water) in part because it is cost-effective, versatile and typically made from local materials.
Access to low cost construction materials is linked to regional economic development and vital for the infrastructure that helps provide the UK with clean water, sanitation and energy, as well as durable homes, schools, hospitals, roads, railways and much more as a true foundation of our society.
However, we recognise future construction needs to be balanced with the effect it is having on the environment. We at CEMEX know that we can best meet these challenges by working in partnership with our clients and stakeholders to innovate and develop solutions together.
The Vertua range is an important step to support the Company's recently announced climate strategy which includes an ambition of delivering net zero concrete globally by 2050.
Enter the quantity of Vertua concrete you plan to use
Potential CO2 Saving | Tonnes
Cups of Tea
Yearly Growth of Forest
Vertua Low Carbon Concrete Range
Vertua is our new range of low carbon concrete, with bespoke designs enabling embodied carbon reductions greater than 70% versus standard concretes (CEM I).
The range can also provide additional benefits including increased durability and aesthetic finishes.
A low carbon concrete that has a 30-50% CO2 reduction versus a standard concrete (CEM I) mix.
Find out more about Vertua Classic
A lower carbon concrete that has a 60% CO2 reduction versus a standard concrete (CEM I).
Find out more about Vertua Plus
Geopolymer clinker-free concrete that has up to 70% CO2 reduction versus standard concrete (CEM I).
Find out more about Vertua Ultra Zero
Vertua Classic is a low carbon concrete that has a 30 - 50% CO2 reduction versus a standard concrete mix.
Available in a range of compressive strength from C16/20 to C40/50 and meets the requirement of DC-2.
- Foundations, including piling
- Suspended slabs
- Structural elements
- House & garage ground floor slabs
- External concrete for pavements and hard standing
- Trafficked areas
- Light to heavy industrial floors
- Easy to use and place
- Suitable for pumping
- Complies with Design Chemical Class DC-2 to BRE Special Digest 1
Vertua Classic Zero
Also available, Vertua classic zero to offset the remaining carbon percentage (c50-70%) through our accredited offset provider. Where these products are used you will receive certification to demonstrate meeting the requirements of The CarbonNeutral Protocol
Vertua Plus is a lower carbon concrete that has a 60% CO2 reduction versus a standard concrete (CEM I).
Available in a range of compressive strengths from C16/20 to C32/40 and meets the requirement of DC-3.
- Mass foundations
- House foundations
- Other applications where high early strengths are not required
- Easy to use and place
- Suitable for pumping
- Ideal for use in aggressive ground conditions
- Complies with Design Chemical Class DC-3 to BRE Special Digest 1
Vertua Plus Zero
Also available, Vertua plus zero to offset the remaining carbon percentage (c40%) through our accredited offset provider. Where these products are used you will receive certification to demonstrate meeting the requirements of The CarbonNeutral Protocol
Vertua Ultra is a geopolymer clinker-free concrete available on request for bespoke applications that has up to 70% CO2 reduction versus a standard concrete (CEM I).
The Geopolymer, traditional cement alternative, was developed at our global research and development centre in Switzerland to achieve further carbon reductions.
This new geopolymer product can be used as an alternative to more commonly used 'clinker based' cement solutions in certain applications.
Vertua Ultra can be used for a wide variety of applications including foundations, roads, groundworks and more.
Vertua Ultra Zero
Vertua ultra zero includes the offset of the remaining carbon percentage (c30%) through our accredited offset provider. Where these products are used you will receive certification to demonstrate meeting the requirements of The CarbonNeutral Protocol
Additional Benefits of Low Carbon Concrete
Lower Heat Generation & Reduced Cracking
The use of Vertua concrete reduces the heat of hydration (the hydration of cement is an exothermic reaction). High temperatures in concrete can generate stresses that could result in early-age thermal cracking. The use of Vertua is recognised as an effective solution to the problem.
Workability / Consistence Retention
Vertua benefits from lower heat generation and does take slightly longer to set, which is particularly useful in warm weather conditions. This is generally influenced by many factors, including temperature and water/cement ratio. However, an extended setting time does mean that the concrete will remain workable for longer and there will be less risk of cold joints.
Vertua compared to CEM I concrete - CO2 per tonne
Note: figures may vary - but based on typical CEMEX ready-mixed concrete plant.
What is Carbon Offsetting?
Carbon offsetting is the purchasing of carbon credits from projects that deliver immediate emission reductions through sustainable development and renewable energy projects to compensate for emissions made elsewhere.
Our Vertua zero concretes are certified as CarbonNeutral® products in accordance with The CarbonNeutral Protocol, the leading global framework for carbon neutrality.
This means we make sure that for every tonne of CO2 emitted by our Vertua zero concrete range there is one tonne less in the atmosphere. We do this by investing in projects which physically remove CO2 from the air such as planting more trees through an independently audited and verified project. Carbon can be offset in this way because one tonne of CO2 has the same climate impact wherever it is emitted.
What this means for you
The fact that we’re offsetting the carbon emissions from a range of products means that when you choose to build with these concretes, it may contribute to your company’s net zero targets and carbon obligations, as well as help you meet your client’s increasing sustainability requirements.
Our Vertua zero range includes the offset and we undertook a rigorous process in selecting a carbon offset programme. Projects are independently monitored and verified by independent third parties to ensure they are delivering emission reductions. We will only purchase carbon credits accredited under the Gold Standard or Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) – these standards are globally recognised and respected for their levels of high environmental integrity.
How are we carbon offsetting?
We are providing carbon finance for projects that have to prove that without carbon finance they would not be viable.
To do this we are working with Natural Capital Partners - an award winning offset company that works with clients to combine business success with positive impact on the environment and society.
Vertua Zero Range Certification
For any of your projects where these products are used you will receive this certificate to verify the offset.
‘The stated subject has been made CarbonNeutral through the use of high quality environmental instruments that meet the requirements of The CarbonNeutral Protocol.’
Why doesn’t CEMEX offset the emissions from all cement and concrete products?
We only offset emissions from our low carbon Vertua range in order to make it easy for our clients to purchase lower carbon concretes. The principle behind the Vertua range is firstly to maximise any reduction in CO2 and then secondly offset the residual CO2. Offsetting more carbon intensive cement and concrete products, would not provide any reduction in embodied carbon and therefore would not meet this principle.
More About Low Carbon Concrete
Find out more about low carbon concrete
The superior thermal performance properties of concrete can provide considerable in-use energy savings over the lifetime of buildings.
The energy used in the operation of our homes and buildings is greater than the energy locked in the building fabric.
Residential buildings alone are responsible for 25% of UK greenhouse gas emissions. Using housing as an example, the operational CO2 associated with concrete and masonry homes can offset their slightly higher embodied CO2 in just over a decade of use.
CO2 emissions from the manufacture of concrete are reducing. Based on 2010 data, CO2 associated with the production of comparable concrete mixes is 16% less than the 1990 baseline. Put in other terms, 86kg of CO2 emissions are associated with the production of a tonne of 'average' concrete.
The UK concrete industry currently uses 47 times more waste than it sends to landfill. The target set for 2012 was a reduction in waste to landfill, as a proportion of production output, to 4kg/tonne. In 2010, this target was exceeded with a performance of 2kg/tonne achieved.
The industry diverts over five million tonnes of material from external waste streams, and uses them in place of primary materials.
Waste is used as a source of fuel and this reduces the embodied CO2 of concrete. In concrete manufacture, by-products from other industries, such as fly ash from power stations and GGBS from the iron industry reduce demand on primary materials and the embodied CO2 of concrete.
Research shows that virtually all the recycled aggregates in the waste stream are already being re-used; replacing 28% of virgin aggregates. This is the highest level achieved in Europe.
Generally, when transported by road, the use of recycled aggregates is only a lower carbon option than virgin aggregates when used within 15km (10 miles) of their source.
88% of UK concrete is already responsibly sourced to BES 6001, the Building Research Establishment (BRE) Framework Standard for the Responsible Sourcing of Construction Products. The target set for 2020 will increase this further.
The local nature of concrete production, and its well-integrated supply chain, has resulted in industry gaining a high level of accreditation to what is currently the optimum benchmark for responsible sourcing.
Designers may now easily source accredited material, and gain the maximum credits currently achievable, in sustainability assessment tools such as the Code for Sustainable Homes and BREEAM.
Concrete is a local material and its usage leads to social, economic and environmental benefits; including local skills development, local employment and local accountability for environmental impacts.
The average delivery distance for all concrete from source to construction sites in 2010 was 36km (22 miles).