Laing O’Rourke to use low-carbon concrete for UK projects


New standard applies to all new projects that began main construction from 1 April onwards. 

Cement mixer close up.
Credit: Life of Pix, Pexels.

The firm will use an alternative to Portland cement, using low-carbon materials like GGBS (Ground Granulated Blast-furnace Slag) and PFA (Pulverised Fly Ash). 

Both are industrial by-products with a much lower carbon footprint. 

Research showed 

The move follows a 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). 

Research concluded that low-carbon alternatives could successfully be deployed in projects that would traditionally rely on concrete. 


The firm aims to reduce its scope three carbon emissions. Compared to its 2022 performance, the estimated reduction of carbon emissions is understood to be 28%

This effort is part of Laing O’Rourke’s goal to reach net zero by 2050

“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,” said Rossella Nicolin, Laing O’Rourke’s head of sustainability for Europe

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

The firm’s on-going research programme looks to further deploy the use of cement-free options. 

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