The Highway industry has been one of those industries with a lot of embedded carbon emissions. As we are driving by, we may be looking at how highways are constructed but unaware of the environmental impact for most of us. So when you stop and consider what goes into the actual manufacturing structure of the highway infrastructure, vast volumes of raw materials are transported, huge volumes of concrete are produced, and massive volumes of asphalt are prepared.
If we focus and just look into concrete production; it is an enormous producer of carbon emissions. Huge amounts of energy go into producing that material, and when the industry look at how we will reduce emissions, the obvious focus has been on concrete and asphalt.
Focus on reducing carbon emission in concrete and asphalt production alone is great; however, it's not going to get us to a Net Zero carbon industry. Many other materials are included in the construction of our highways, and what we want to focus on today is line marking. This product goes on the surface and is a critical component of any highway construction. Historically line marking has been applied using hot applied materials with significant carbon output during the application process.
Unless the process of using hot applied systems for line marking comes under review and alternative cold applied methods are adopted, the Net Zero target will never truly be achieved in our highway industry. There is a drive to use carbon offset mechanisms that, whilst providing some relief to the environmental challenge, don't necessarily reduce carbon output during production and application.
The UK's highways industry has been a global leader in construction methods and civil engineering skills. This country cannot afford to fall behind the rest of the world in its drive to achieve Net Zero carbon within the highways industry.
The industry must take a fresh look at the way line marking systems are applied. In this country, we have much to learn from European partners, such as; Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, and Denmark, where they have mastered the use of high-performance line marking systems. They are predominantly cold applied. Making the transfer to cold applied line marking systems doesn't need to involve any compromise on the required performance set out in highway standards.
In reality, alternative line marking systems offer an improvement in safety, an advancement in durability and multiple environmental benefits. These systems are an essential component to the construction of highways in the UK from here on.
If you want to know more about moving forward with your Net Zero targets with line marking, get in contact today as we would love to help.