Inclusive, sustainable and resilient describes CONCRETE
There is a great deal of concern with the outcome of the Rio+20 event in Brazil this week. Some are asking “Is Rio+20 on the road to failure“?
The conference begins with some division among the attendees and some are suggesting that agreement may be elusive.
Many are pushing divergent agendas and seem fairly rigid in their ideologies, so finding a recipe for success may be difficult. It is like trying to make a solid road without using good construction products.
Sigrid Kaag, U.N. assistant secretary-general and assistant administrator with the U.N. Development Program’s Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy stated “At the outset we will need to make sure that future development solutions are inclusive, sustainable and resilient”. These three ingredients appear to be a solid recipe to build the road to development success, so why are there reports of potholes in the process?
Solid and successful roads, along with other infrastructure projects, must use appropriate materials and correct processes to deliver resilient or sustainable returns on our investments. The next 20-years of international development will be nether resilient or sustainable unless we include better CONCRETE within the discussion. You can complain about cement production, mining of aggregates and any other perceived negative impacts from the production of concrete, but at the end of the day – WE NEED GOOD CONCRETE in development!
Rio+20 and other development gatherings rely on a solid concrete supply system to succeed – Yet concrete supply chains are ignored in sustainable development discussions. The attendees will land on an airport runway supported by concrete. They will stay in hotels with concrete foundations and walls. They will meet in concrete-created convention centers – yet they will ignore the quality of CONCRETE for those they are suggesting that we all support.
In Rio, the road to sustainability is paved with good intentions but the recipe is missing a key ingredient. This effort will be like trying to build an earthquake-resilient country by skimping on cement and mixing concrete in dirt-contaminated ditches.
A road that is paved with poor concrete is nether resilient or sustainable – And sadly the poor will continue to find out what it really means to be “Inclusive” when tragedy strikes them again.
We can fix the future of sustainable development if we mix in good CONCRETE…