Eco-Friendly Bitumen Market: A Big Step in Sustainable Construction Solutions
The materials used for any construction contain harsh chemicals and cause immense waste pollution. Additionally, the contamination caused by the construction materials contributes mainly to the air, water, and noise pollution. Even the production of construction materials leads to a huge amount of carbon emission.
Therefore, the increasing environmental concerns have created a greater need and market opportunity for sustainable construction materials. The scope of sustainable construction materials ranges from eco-friendly materials to products made of recycled materials.
One such eco-friendly material, bitumen, has become popular in the last few years. Eco-friendly bitumen is an emerging market projected to grow significantly, owing to the rising consumer inclination toward sustainable construction.
Eco-friendly bitumen is available in multiple forms, such as bio-based bitumen, recycled bitumen, and natural bitumen. According to the BIS research report on the global eco-friendly bitumen market, the valuation is expected to reach $126.74 billion by 2025 from $109.78 billion in 2019, growing with a CAGR of 4.21% during the forecast period 2020–2025.
Construction being the major application of eco-friendly bitumen, growing highways construction is projected to remain the primary factor for uplifting product demand till 2025. For instance, according to the Indian Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF) November 2020 report, the construction of 10,855 km of highways was completed in 2019.
What is Bitumen?
Bitumen is a substance produced from crude oil. It is composed of complex hydrocarbons and contains elements such as calcium, iron, sulfur, and oxygen. It is used as an adhesive that binds the construction materials together and helps in waterproofing the products. The main applications of bitumen are in paving and roofing. 85% of all bitumen is used as a binder in asphalt for roads, runways, parking lots, and footpaths.
Business Drivers of Eco-friendly Bitumen Market
1. Increasing demand for sustainable construction: In recent years, with the challenges of tackling the concerns of rising pollution in major cities, the governments in many countries have mandated the use of sustainable and recycled materials. For instance, China has ordered new regenerative systems at all levels of society to reduce waste and increase resource efficiency. Eco-friendly bitumen is one such solution that has been a major replacement for conventional adhesive materials.
Key market players in the sustainable construction materials industry are collaborating to accelerate the use of eco-friendly bitumen. For instance, in October 2019, Shell Bitumen entered into a partnership with Tiki Tar for selling bitumen to customers in the pavement industry, including state and national highways in India.
2. Escalating global roadways and highway construction activities: A good infrastructure is a fundamental building block of the economic growth of any country. Connecting the cities and villages is crucial for the proper flow of goods and services across a nation. Therefore, there is a great demand for the constant construction of roads and highways, especially in developing and emerging economies.
Hence, the increasing demand for constant infrastructural development along with the need for sustainable growth is a huge business driver of sustainable construction solutions.
3. Stringent government regulations for reducing carbon footprints: The governments across the world are implying stringent regulations in many industries to reduce carbon emissions. According to the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), the construction sector emits more than one-third of global energy related CO2.
Hence, developing a sustainable construction industry is an integral part of the government’s regulation programs. Many countries have mandated the development and use of eco-friendly materials in major construction projects.
Challenges in Adoption of Eco-Friendly Construction Materials
Although the use of sustainable materials is growing in big industries and government construction projects, there is a lack of awareness among the common public. It proves to be a huge barrier to adopting innovative and sustainable materials.
On the other hand, the high costs involved in the production lead to high prices in the market, and the products become unaffordable to consumers.
The eco-friendly bitumen market is currently emerging and requires good initiatives and large capital investments. Key stakeholders in the market are working toward strengthening their product portfolios in eco-friendly products.
As the global construction industry moves toward sustainable construction materials, companies are increasingly adopting strategies to enhance their market position. The current market players have the advantage of moderate competition due to the presence of less established brands in the market. Some market key players are Royal Dutch Shell, American Gilsonite Company, and Kraton Corporation, among others.
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