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Laing O’Rourke Mandates Low-Carbon Concrete on all UK Projects

Laing O’Rourke Mandates Low-Carbon Concrete on all UK Projects
14 April 2023 | Updated 17 August 2023

Multinational construction company Laing O’Rourke is making low-carbon concrete standard on all of its new UK projects.

From 1 April 2023, low-carbon concrete options will be deployed on projects as a like-for-like substitute for traditional concrete. It is predicted that this will result in a significant reduction in the company’s scope 3 carbon emissions.

The overall carbon reduction will be 28 per cent when compared with the company’s concrete usage in 2022. This equates to a saving of 14.4 million kg of CO2e, which is the same as planting 120,000 trees or 94 hectares of forest.

Concrete production currently contributes around 8 per cent of global annual carbon emissions.


“Last year, 43 per cent of the concrete products we manufactured for our live projects were low carbon. It’s exciting to think this will rise to 100 per cent this year, and that very soon all our new projects will only use low-carbon concrete."

–Rossella Nicolin

Head of Sustainability for Europe, Laing O’Rourke


Low-Carbon Concrete Research Programme


This change follows a long-term research programme co-funded by Laing O’Rourke and Innovate UK, and in collaboration with the University of Cambridge and Sheffield University’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC).

Laing O’Rourke’s low carbon concrete uses lower carbon alternatives to Portland cement. These include GGBS (Ground Granulated Blast-furnace Slag) and PFA (Pulverised Fly Ash), both of which are industrial by-products with a much lower carbon footprint. 

The company’s ongoing research programme also focuses on wider-scale deployment of cement-free options and expects to introduce more of these materials going forward.




Laing O’Rourke became a founding member of ConcreteZero, an initiative that seeks to help the construction industry transition to 30 per cent low emission concrete by 2025 and 50 per cent by 2030, setting a clear pathway to using 100 per cent net-zero concrete by 2050. 

Rossella Nicolin, Laing O’Rourke’s Head of Sustainability for Europe, said: “The expertise of our in-house concrete technologists, the experts who operate our advanced manufacturing facility in Nottinghamshire (the Laing O’Rourke Centre of Excellence for Modern Construction, CEMC), and our supply chain partners, have all contributed to this significant step forward.

“Last year, 43 per cent of the concrete products we manufactured for our live projects were low carbon. It’s exciting to think this will rise to 100 per cent this year, and that very soon all our new projects will only use low-carbon concrete. I want to thank the team whose hard work has made it possible.”

Picture: a photograph of a grey concrete building. Image Credit: Pexels

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 14 April 2023


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