Reducing an operation’s carbon footprint is essential but challenging. A comprehensive evaluation of key factors helps companies make informed decisions. 

Marine structures are constructed in many ways, some of which require large amounts of rock or sand. Considering the increasing importance of environmental protection, TenCate Geosynthetics have developed an independent and comprehensive tool under the Geotube® brand to model the carbon footprint criteria of various marine structures technologies. In cooperation with Anthesis, a sustainability specialist company, they have devised the TenCate Geotube® Carbon Footprint Calculator that enables a quick, reliable and transparent performance comparison between TenCate Geotube® solutions and traditional methods.   

Sustainability step by step

Over the years, customers, engineers and contractors have come to appreciate the efficiency, flexibility and reliability of TenCate Geotube® sand-filled elements. To reliably compare the Geotube® technology with conventional solutions, every step of the way needs to be assessed carefully. In addition to the impact of direct and indirect carbon footprint emissions, or greenhouse gases, the project also needs to examine the materials and equipment for the operation as well as the transport distances to deliver the required elements to the installation site. TenCate Geosynthetics’ proprietary carbon footprint methodology complies with the Publicly Available Specification (PAS) 2050 for the assessment of the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions of goods and services. 

TenCate Geosynthetics Carbon Footprint Calculator  - TenCate Geotube® sand-filled elements in use
TenCate Geotube® sand-filled elements in use

Calculated in practice

Amongst others, TenCate Geotube® units are used as cores for breakwaters or as bunds for (temporary) artificial islands. These replace the use of a stone or rock core, resulting in a significant reduction in the material required. The Carbon Footprint Calculator enables a comprehensive and transparent performance comparison between the TenCate Geotube® solution and the full rock breakwater. The model’s results show that these are sensitive to a number of key factors: 

  • Type of rock used for the rock breakwater (for instance, limestone rock has a lower embodied carbon footprint than granite rock) 
  • Delivery distance rock to site 
  • Use of on-site sand or purchased sand and the delivery distance from the purchased sand to site 
TenCate Geosynthetics Carbon Footprint Calculator for marine structures with low carbon footprint
Reliable marine structures with low carbon footprint

The TenCate Geotube® Carbon Footprint Calculator has proven to be a great tool that can even help to gain green points in sensitive situations.

Mink ter Harmsel, Marketing Manager Water & Environment EMEA

Several calculations based on figures from different case studies demonstrate that, in comparison to rock breakwaters, TenCate Geotube® units filled with sand save considerable amounts of CO2: 

  • When compared to rocks with less embodied carbon, such as limestone, the carbon savings using TenCate Geotube® units are highly dependent on the transport distance of the rocks. The critical distance is estimated at around 100 km. In other words, for a transport distance of over 100 km by road, TenCate Geotube® units offer significant carbon savings. 
  • The model showed that the carbon footprint impact of TenCate Geotube® units improves when using on-site sand instead of purchased sand. Results demonstrate that TenCate Geotube® units realize a reduction in carbon footprint when the delivery distance of the limestone is more than 30 km. 
TenCate Geosynthetics Carbon Footprint Calculator  Dashboard Sustainability in numbers
Carbon Footprint Calculator results dashboard

Get to know the Carbon Footprint Calculator

If you’re wondering whether you can lower the carbon footprint of your marine structure project, the TenCate Geotube® experts will be happy to run your data, share the independent outcome and advise on the most beneficial solution. 

Get in touch with us and submit your request for a carbon footprint calculation via the TenCate Geotube® website

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Mink ter Harmsel, Marketing Manager Water & Environment EMEA