Get Inspired. Lead Others. Drive Change.
Eneref Institute examines polished concrete flooring in retail spaces as a sustainable and appealing option.“Wood flooring can expand and contract, affecting durability and surface quality,” said Gary Staso,...
Eneref Institute examines how a polished concrete floor reduces maintenance costs for a performing arts school.“It’s an all-around perfect fit for any school.”
Global Energy used for Mining
400 Million Tons of CO2
Mining, refining, smelting and casting primary aluminum releases about 400 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions per year.
The total amount of energy used in the mining industry has been estimated to be 4–7% of the global energy output.
Energy to Melt Thermoplastics is 1/4 that of Aluminum
On November 7th, 2018, Eneref Institute wrote an open letter to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
“Eneref Institute holds the position that favorable conditions at work entails building facilities that are designed for occupant wellbeing.”
Read full text of letter.
We Can All Take Actions
What We Can Do
Eneref’s “Build. Don’t Burn.” initiative is an incremental two-pronged approach to reduce global warming: mitigating the need for metal mining while at the same time, providing the petroleum industry with earth-friendly options for revenue. Working together, two giant industries — petroleum and plastics — can help to cool the planet while building more sustainable communities. #BuildDontBurn.
What We Should Know
- PLASTIC IS FILLING UP THE OCEANS
Yes, plastic pollution is impacting our waters and marine life, which impacts our human food chain. Eneref is not advocating for using plastic in disposal consumer packaging, like plastic bags, etc. but instead, for polymers in non-disposal products.
We are also calling for increasing the use of recycled plastic. Although the quality of the recycled plastic is somewhat lower, mixed with virgin plastics, recycled plastic can produce high-quality products.
- USE OIL FOR TO BUILD COMMUNITIES
Crude oil extracted from the ground is primarily a carbon-based material. We create both gasoline and plastic from oil. Oil is also the raw material in making plastic. For example, polycarbonate used in building materials is produced by the reaction of bisphenol A (BPA) and phosgene COCl2, both of which are petroleum-based chemicals.
The chemistry of making plastics is complex and should be manufactured in ways that are safe to the environment and to life. For example, phosgene is produced by reacting chlorine from the electrolysis of sodium chloride with carbon monoxide produced by the pyrolysis of coal, oil or gas. Plastics, such as polycarbonates, are better utilized as building materials, rather than as hydrocarbons burned for fuel into the environment.
- THINGS TO BUILD WITH PLASTIC
Within the building industry, polymers, such as polycarbonate, are already common in light fixtures as lens but have also been used as housings, heatsinks and reflectors. Laminated polycarbonate sheet provides an added level of protection for building planners seeking to safeguard structures from blast, ballistics, forced entry and weather events.
Oil-based polymer materials help industrial designers create shapes that would not be possible with traditional materials. Plastics can be used in a broad portfolio of applications, including, construction materials, medical equipment, automotive components, and electronics.
- MINING HARM COMMUNITIES AND THE ENVIRONMENT
Mining for metal is linked to water contamination, deforestation and environmental degradation, as well as conflict and violence due to land grabbing, the fracturing of the social fabric of communities.
There is a growing movement and advocacy for the introduction of ecocide law at both a domestic and international level. The common definition of ecocide is the destruction of large areas of the natural environment as a consequence of human activity. Under ecocide law, irresponsible and harmful mining projects and practices could become punishable crimes and this would impact upon the extractive industries.
- PLASTIC CAN REPLACE METAL
Plastics strengths have been improving for over 50 years and are now replacing metal parts. The longer fibers in polymers increase the strength of plastics, making it competitive with metal. Some composite polymers are even stronger than some grades of metals. Plastic can handle high stress while making it possible to easily manufacture parts.
With stronger plastics and ease of processing, plastics can save energy compared to making parts from metals. Whether it’s a mold or a part, a big advantage in using a composite is controlling fiber orientation. This is an advantage over isotropic metals. Controlling fiber orientation in composites optimizes the weight-to-strength ratio.
Plastic materials help designers to create shapes that would not be possible with metal. Also, polymers can be used in 3-D printing, creating assemblies as a single part without a mold, reducing the total footprint of the manufacturing process.
- PLASTIC CAN REPLACE METAL
Thermoplastics are economically recyclable into many secondary, post-industry applications. Within the electronics industry, 30% reclaimed polycarbonate is ground and cut with virgin material for desktop computers, printers and electronic chargers, switches, and housings for domestic appliances. Building materials already use recycled polycarbonate for noncritical applications, such as park benches and pallet for wood decks.