Ibstock outlines steps to create world’s first net-zero carbon brick factory

The investment into the Atlas factory will deliver net-zero emissions across Scope 1 and 2

Last year, the company outlined its intention of setting a net-zero carbon goal for its operations. The company’s sustainability report outlined how reducing embodied carbon, reducing energy use, procuring renewable energy and offsetting unavoidable emissions would help achieve the net-zero ambition. These will help inform and shape a wider net-zero commitment set to arrive in due course.

As part of this ambition, Ibstock confirmed plans to pilot at least one net-zero factory.

The company has this week confirmed that its Atlas factory in the West Midlands will act as a “pathfinder project” to trial decarbonisation in line with a net-zero trajectory. According to Ibstock, the Atlas factory will focus on reducing process emissions and improving thermal efficiency to cut the intensity of brick manufacturing. This will deliver a 50% reduction in emissions, with the remaining to be offset.

The investment into the Atlas factory will deliver net-zero emissions across Scope 1 and 2, Ibstock has confirmed. Scope 3 will be addressed at a later date. The company is aligning its methodology with the Government’s Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy to reach net-zero.

Ibstock’s chief executive Joe Hudson said: “The Net Zero journey is one we share with our customers. We have seen a transformational shift in attitudes from all of our key stakeholders; and there is a ‘sea-change’ in how our customers, and, in turn, their customers, view environmental issues. As the UK’s leading brick manufacturer we recognise that we have to adapt and respond – and this is reflected in our Sustainability Roadmap to 2025.

“We have been leading the way for some time within our sector, with our investments in new production capacity at our Throckley, Chesteron, Eclipse and Lodge Lane plants all reducing the carbon intensity of the manufacturing process, and as the recipients of multiple sustainability awards. However, we can do more, and we can go further. Our plan to invest in Atlas is at the heart of this.”

Ibstock Brick’s energy and environment manager Michael McGowan has won an edie Sustainability Leaders Award for the past two years. In 2019, he won the Energy Efficiency award – read up on why here – while in 2020 he was crowned the Energy Management Leader of the Year.

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Matt Mace

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