Environmental Benefits of Slate

Slate is one of the world’s most environmentally friendly roofing options. It is a totally natural product which has the lowest embodied energy of all the roofing materials. Slate is ideally suitable as a roofing material because its embodied carbon value is at most 16% of that of other roofing materials. Embodied energy is the energy required to manufacture, transport and use the product and deal with any waste created. Slate also has the lowest carbon footprint which is the fossil fuel used to process the product.

In addition to being a natural product, slate can withstand fire, hail, acid rain, hurricane force winds, insects, and just about anything Mother Nature can unleash. Because slate is so durable, it eliminates re-roofing every 10-30 years. Some slate roofs have survived hundreds of years! Slate is also reusable and recyclable. Many slate roofs are reclaimed and used on other roofs or used in a variety of artistic and architectural ways.

The National Slate Association lists the following Environmental Benefits of Slate:

  • A slate roof’s longevity alone makes it an environmental plus
  • Slate contributes no detrimental substances to the environment
  • Slate helps keep other roofing materials out of landfills
  • When slate outlasts the building itself, it can be recycled.
  • Slate’s density adds to temperature stability of a structure
  • Slate is completely fireproof.
  • Can help lower net energy costs.
  • Slate is resistant to degradation regardless of climatic conditions.

Environment Related Slate Studies

Title Link
Slate Quarrying and Processing: A life-Cycle Inventory Download
Slate Material Fact Sheet from University of Tennessee at Knoxville Download