Science & Technology in Action

9th Edition

Science, Technology and Sustainability


Sustainability is a critical concern for social, economic and environmental reasons. The lesson focuses on the processes involved in the production of cement. It describes the measures taken by CRH to control energy use and atmospheric emissions such as dust and greenhouse gases.
Download Lesson Kit

Contains the full lesson along with a supporting toolkit, including teachers’ notes.

Lesson excerpt

Technology has been defined as the ‘practical application of knowledge’ ( The knowledge referred to here is usually scientific knowledge. These days we are accustomed to terms such as ‘computer technology’, ‘medical technology’ and ‘space technology’. We can easily appreciate that these terms imply a high level of scientific knowledge. It may be less obvious that construction projects, such as houses, bridges and roads, also rely on a sound understanding of scientific concepts. Examples of such concepts are force, stress, strain and pressure. So technology, in putting science into action, produces the things that have practical use in our lives. Accordingly, technology is also seen as ‘applied science’.

Industries apply scientific knowledge in order to produce goods and services that meet the ever increasing needs of society. In this lesson we look at the production of cement. While conscious of the ever increasing demands on world resources and mounting pressure on the global environment, the cement industry continues to focus on achieving the highest standards of environmental management in all its activities. It is proactively addressing the challenges of climate change and is committed to conducting its business in a sustainable and responsible manner.

Technology in action
All industrial processes share a common feature which is to use the skills of engineering to transform inputs (raw materials) into outputs (products). The global cement industry produces over 3 billion tonnes of cement annually, making cement the world’s most widely used construction material.

To read the full lesson, download the pdf above.

True or False?

  1. Industrial transformation of inputs to outputs required energy. true
  2. Carbon dioxide is also called limestone. false
  3. A gigajoule is 10 12 joules. false
  4. Small pieces of solid matter in the air are called particulates. true
  5. Clouds have an important effect on the amount of solar radiation that reaches the Earth’s surface. true
  6. CO2 is considered to be a greenhouse gas. true
  7. Nitrous oxide is a harmless gas. true
  8. Combustion in the presence of nitrogen can produce toxic gases. true
  9. Burning limestone in a kiln is called calcination. true
  10. CRH is one of the world’s largest producers of construction materials. true

Glossary of terms

the ending, reduction, or lessening of something.
abatement technologies
applied science
blended cements


In its 2012 Sustainability Report, CRH states that it ‘ has progressed and developed in all areas of sustainability and sought to…