ASTM International is an organization known worldwide for document development. Previously known as the American Society for Testing and Materials, ASTM standards are used to enhance the quality and safety of numerous consumer products and materials. ASTM has recently partnered with the Slag Cement Association to develop an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) for slag cement, which is classified as a “recovered” product. This “recovered” product improves durability of concrete, therefore reducing life cycle and maintenance costs. An EPD provides environmental data pertaining to specific materials based on life cycle assessment. It is a reliable way to see the environmental impact of a product. Slag cement reduces the environmental impact of concrete in several ways, including:
- Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions – one ton of carbon dioxide is eliminated by replacing one ton of portland cement
- Less energy consumption – a ton of slag cement requires 90% less energy to produce
- Reduces use of virgin material
- Makes concrete lighter in color, therefore absorbing less heat – this helps to cool structures with exposed concrete
The Slag Cement Association (SCA) represents companies producing and shipping over 90% of slag cement in the U.S. ASTM and the SCA will work together to develop new Product Category Rules (PCR) for slag cement. SCA Executive Director John Melander says:
“This PCR provides a standardized method for developing and disseminating verifiable information about the environmental impact of slag cement.”
The SCA is committed to benefiting the community. Continuous research and education communicate the benefits of slag cement, and developing an EPD shows the association’s commitment to sustainability and concern regarding environmental impact.