From the air we breathe to the food we eat, the clothes we wear to the shelters in which we reside, nature is what grants us the luxury of living on this planet we all call home. Beyond the intrinsic good of caring for our planet, it's in our best interest to do so. So what do we need to do to ensure our planet's health for generations to come, both as individuals and organizations?
World Environment Day
World Environment Day (WED) is one example of an international effort to answer that question, raise awareness of the issues at hand, and prompt action. WED has been recognized by the United Nations on June 5th every year since 1974 and serves as a call to action for individuals, communities, and businesses around the world to "undertake activities... reaffirming their concern for the preservation and enhancement of the environment with a view to deepening environmental awareness".
This year's WED theme is biodiversity, emphasizing the importance of natural biodiversity in supporting human life. The Nature Trust of British Columbia explains how many facets of modern society as we know it depend on biodiversity: "The economy relies on biodiversity since it provides renewable economic resources and ecosystem services, medical and scientific benefits, and is priceless in term of cultural and aesthetic values... Different organisms are responsible for controlling invasive or pest species, maintaining soil fertility, pollinating and thereby maintaining diverse vegetation, purifying air and water, detoxifying and decomposing wastes, and regulating climate."
What can we do?
As individuals, there are several steps we can take to support biodiversity. Educating ourselves on environmental issues, being aware of the impacts of biodiversity loss, supporting policies that promote biodiversity, and being mindful of what we consume and how much we consume are all great places to start.
As organizations, fostering an eco-conscious workplace can start small—there are many accessible and affordable green workplace practices organizations can roll out to help make a difference. That said, understanding the impact your organization has on the environments in which you operate, as well as consumer behaviour, and adopting a responsible degree of accountability is how meaningful change happens.
Construction and the Environment
It's no secret that the construction industry has historically had a significant negative impact on the environment, releasing massive amounts of CO2 and harming ecosystems as part of excavation for materials and irresponsible disposal of waste.
But it doesn't have to go on like this.
At Paradox, we aim to change this. We're proud of our ongoing efforts to protect the environments in which we operate, offering companies and communities who need to overcome access challenges environmentally conscious alternatives to conventional construction methods.
Tough Cell NPA Geocells: The Green Way to Build
While it’s true that the construction industry has historically been challenged to work in harmony with our natural environments, recent advances in engineering and road construction technologies are tackling prominent environmental concerns in the industry head-on.
One such solution is Novel Polymeric Alloy (NPA) geocell technology.
NPA geocells are an advanced type of geosynthetic technology that enables companies to realize 25% to 50% savings on aggregate infill volume. Such advancements in geosynthetic technologies also make it possible to reduce pavement thickness by up to 50% compared to conventional roadbuilding methods. Furthermore, with NPA geocells, full-depth subgrade preparation usually isn't necessary and soil replacement is minimized or eliminated.
Amazed by the performance of this incredible technology, Paradox enlisted the help of world-renowned geotechnical engineering experts to develop Tough Cell NPA geocells, and introduced this product to the Canadian market in 2012. Tough Cell is a durable, sustainable, high-performance NPA geocell whose 3D honeycomb formation maintains its dimensional stability in a wide variation of temperatures (-60°C to +60°C), under dynamic and cyclic loadings, and is highly resistant to polymeric creep.
Since its inception, Tough Cell has been hard at work for companies in oil & gas, energy, forestry, mining, rail, transportation, and numerous other industries—and the benefits of Tough Cell technology make it clear why industry leaders and communities across the country are opting to use this technology in their soil stabilization and road-building projects.
It's like the domino effect. Using native infill materials (and in smaller quantities compared to the demands of similar technologies) means less hauling is required, which in turn means significantly fewer CO2 emissions are released over the course of each project.
Numerous studies have been conducted and research papers published on the game-changing benefits of Tough Cell NPA geocells, including its contributions to reducing the environmental impact of construction projects and its ability to increase the expected lifespan of civil infrastructure, which incidentally leads to reduced maintenance requirements and therefore lower budgetary demands over time.
Time for Nature
World Environment Day is a reminder to consider how we can better coexist with the ecosystems that grant us the privilege of being alive. We need to take accountability for our actions and the impact those actions have on the health of our planet. It starts with education and awareness—understanding the role we play in as individuals, and also as communities, companies, and nations—and needs to be followed by meaningful action.
As a player in an industry that is critical to economic advancement but whose reputation for environmental responsibility has been less than ideal, we're proud to be paving the way for companies and governments to build infrastructure in more responsible ways.
Interested in learning more about how you can leverage Tough Cell technology in your next project? Click the button below to download our fact sheet or get in touch with one of our Tough Cell experts today.