What is the development impact of concrete?
Cement Trust suggests that the concrete construction supply chain can be the single most important economic advancement program available for developing countries of the world.
* Concrete is the second most consumed product on earth, after water*. Yet by comparison, concrete construction represents millions of more jobs and a much greater economic return than water. In fact, sustainable water projects rely heavily on concrete for storage, distribution and reclamation.
* There are nearly 3 tons of concrete produced each year for every human on the planet, making it the most used man-made product in the world. Concrete production and concrete construction have an impact on almost every facet of human existence.
* Concrete usage is two-times more than wood, steel, plastic and aluminum combined. When you consider it, there are not many structures that don’t include some type of cement-based building product.
* Construction jobs in the US represent approximately 6% of employment or around 9,000,000 jobs**. Because concrete touches almost every aspect of construction, a large percentage of these jobs are supported by concrete.
* The concrete supply chain reaches well beyond construction to include mining, equipment, transportation and industrial sectors of every economy.
In the industrialized world the concrete supply chain works as a massive economic engine and job creator. It is easy to overlook the use of concrete in our society because many tons of concrete lay buried in foundations or support structures. Even so, concrete plays a vital part in our daily lives as we walk and drive on its strong support.
The benefits of concrete to society are immense, being used to build our schools, hospitals, apartment blocks, bridges, tunnels, dams, sewage systems, pavements, runways, roads and more. It is the foundation of homes of every design and size. It is cast into solid shapes to form blocks, bricks, panels and beams. We use it for both simple decoration and critical protection from the elements. Yet, in the international development world it hardly gets a mention, compared to water or HIV/aids or sanitation issues.
There are many organizations that are experts in disaster response, health remediation, food distribution and temporary housing. Unfortunately a solid, safe and sustainable concrete supply chain system has few champions in the development community.
Cement Trust believes that international development experts are overlooking a hidden economic giant. By working to build a solid concrete supply chain we will expand the opportunities for employment, create more sustainable structures, and raise the economic energy of the poorest nations of the world. We are committed to building a coalition of like-minded experts in mining, distribution, manufacturing and construction to assist in the effort to make concrete as trustworthy in Haiti as it is in Houston.
Because Haiti is the current focus of our efforts, we have prepared a simple document that outlines a few opportunities for developing concrete’s economic power in Haiti.
Download the Economic Development Plan, built upon concrete enterprises.