Our experts share their thoughts on asphalt sustainability, innovation, safety and creating a culture of care.
From Black to Green: Polyco’s Sustainability Journey
To me, building a sustainable infrastructure is a moral obligation. For the foreseeable future, humans will need roofs for shelter and roads for transportation. Asphalt is a core (albeit overlooked) ingredient in both instances. However, the general public has a narrow view of what asphalt is, how it’s used, and what goes in it. I see this as an educational opportunity to unpack the versatility of this material and how it can advance sustainable practices that power a circular economy.
At Polyco, the path to sustainability has evolved over time but always with the same goal in mind: to reduce our environmental footprint by manufacturing products with zero waste. We invested in this mindset through the development of our proprietary Rapid Digestion Process™ (RDP), which breaks down end-of-life rubber tires into a liquefied state. From this process, we developed a performance-enhancing asphalt additive, SigmaBond, that can be blended to create custom asphalt formulations for use in multiple applications. In addition to upcycling tires, SigmaBond further enhances sustainability by enabling the use of more recycled materials (such as recycled asphalt pavements and recycled asphalt shingles) in asphalt mixes, reducing the need to source virgin materials and crude oil. Moreover, SigmaBond’s performance-enhancing qualities extend the lifespan and usability of roads and roofs so they don’t have to be repaired or replaced as often.
Solving the global waste problem is an issue that is too big to ignore. Reusing end-of-life tires in roads and roofs is a step in the right direction. It’s an innovative, clean way to divert rubber tires from landfills or prevent them from being burned for fuel. But our journey to sustainability doesn’t stop there. We still have a long road ahead of us to become a truly green industry within a circular economy. There are so many other materials to experiment with, new processes to try and technologies to deploy that haven’t even been conceived yet. As advancements are made, Polyco will continue to adapt alongside them until we have completely eliminated waste. It’s a lofty goal but one that is necessary to ensure our future is built on sustainable infrastructure.