Alternative Energy Sources Prove Beneficial in Reducing GHGs

Sep 20, 2011 10:30 AM ET

(3BL Media / theCSRfeed) September 20, 2011 - NBS is pleased to announce the publication of Alternative Energy Sources in Cement Manufacturing, a systematic review commissioned by NBS for the Cement Association of Canada. The study reveals that using household garbage, tires and even plastic to manufacture cement would produce fewer greenhouse gases and reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill than the fossil fuels currently used.

"From the reviewed documents, we found it could be better to burn municipal solid waste rather than burning coal to manufacture cement," says Rosa Maria Dangelico, a post-doctoral fellow at Politecnico di Bari in Italy and one of the study's co-authors. "Doing so could lead to some environmental benefits, compared to the use of fossil fuels, such as reduction in the quantity of waste going to landfill and decrease of air emissions responsible of global warming, such as carbon dioxide."

The findings confirm what environmentally progressive countries like Germany, France and Belgium have known for years. Cement plants in those countries get a third of their fuel from sewage sludge, waste wood, used tires, and household and industrial refuse.

"It's counter-intuitive that burning waste products such as used tires could somehow be better for the environment or human health than our current model," says Tima Bansal, a professor of management at the Richard Ivey School of Business and Executive Director of NBS. "But it speaks to the importance of academic research in shaping decision-making. Environmental issues can be easily overwhelmed by rhetoric, so our business leaders and policy-makers need objective, reliable research to inform energy and health policies." 

Download the Full Executive Report PDF - 2 pages

Download the Full Systematic Review PDF - 139 pages


The Network for Business Sustainability is a not-for-profit organization that connects business leaders and academic experts worldwide to devise new business models for the 21st century. NBS is located at the Richard Ivey School of Business (at The University of Western Ontario) in London, Canada and at the Université du Québec à Montréal. NBS is funded primarily by Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, with additional support from industry partners.