Reclaimed Materials

RETO’s products contain ~70% reclaimed fly-ash and iron tailings instead of traditional cement and aggregates



Founded in 1999



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The Path to Drawdown: Insulation

Construction and buildings account for 38% of the global CO2 emissions and 35% of total energy use. Heating and cooling the building uses much of this energy, but a sizable amount of it (25-60%) is wasted through air infiltration or heat escaping from warmer areas to cooler areas.

Better insulation of building envelopes can reduce escaping heat. Insulation is the use of high levels of improved materials in buildings that resist heat flow and regulate indoor temperatures. Ideally, insulation should cover all sides of a building, from the bottom floor, exterior walls, to the roof, and be continuous. Sealing gaps and cracks is also crucial for a more thermal resistant building envelope.

Insulation is one of the most inexpensive and most practical ways to make buildings more energy efficient, both in new construction and through retrofitting older buildings that are often not well insulated. This also means lower utility bills, keeping out moisture, improving air quality and avoiding GHG emissions associated with energy use.

Project Drawdown estimates that, in 2018, 30% of buildings worldwide were insulated. If existing residential and commercial buildings in temperate and tropical countries install insulation (with low-carbon materials) at a rate of 1.6 - 2% annually, between 17 - 19 gigatons of GHG emissions can be avoided by 2050.

What We Want to See Improve

Disclose GHG Emissions

We like RETO’s business model of using reclaimed industrial waste products to make construction materials. But we want to be certain that this is more environmentally friendly than the traditional alternatives. For that, we need to see key sustainability metrics like energy used by source, the amount of GHG emitted, both directly and indirectly, and the amount of emissions avoided through their products. We urge RETO to publish an annual sustainability report that discloses these metrics.

Electrify Operations

RETO owns or leases several properties (p. 56) throughout China, and some of their production plants are relatively large. We want to see these offices and facilities powered by renewable electricity so as to significantly reduce RETO’s direct carbon emissions.

Plan for a Decline in Coal

RETO’s model is viable only as long as coal remains a central component in China’s energy mix. Right now, coal is alive and well in China. But if and when the expansion of coal plants tapers off and starts declining, RETO will need a plan to continue making their construction materials while remaining environmentally friendly. We encourage RETO’s executives to start planning now.

Related Insulation Stocks in the Climate Index

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Allocated Company Description


Owens Corning (OC)

OC makes insulation, roofing, and fiberglass material for residential, commercial and industrial buildings. Building energy efficiency can reduce emissions


Topbuild (BLD)

Topbuild installs insulation of various kinds that prevent heat-loss from buildings. Building energy efficiency is key to reducing emissions


Beacon Roofing Supply, Inc. (BECN)

Beacon distributes roofing material, insulation, and other products for the construction market. Building energy efficiency is key to cutting emissions


Installed Building Products (IBP)

IBP installs various kinds of insulation in residential buildings. Building energy efficiency is key to reducing emissions


ReTo Eco-Solutions, Inc. (RETO)

ReTo Eco-Solutions makes eco-friendly construction materials like bricks, pavers and tiles made from reclaimed and recycled materials

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