Ibstock to pilot net-zero factory
Brick manufacturer Ibstock has announced plans to pilot at least one net-zero factory, with the company outlining its intention to set a net-zero carbon goal for its operations in the near future.
The net-zero pilot, which is yet to specify a date or site location, was unveiled in the company’s latest sustainability report. This year’s report highlights progress made against the company’s Sustainability Roadmap 2025 which was launched in 2018.
The company has outlined reducing embodied carbon, reducing energy use, procuring renewable energy and offsetting unavoidable emissions as steps to help achieve the net-zero ambition. These will help inform and shape a wider net-zero commitment.
“We fully support the UK governments target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and we will continue to work on a pathway to build on our existing targets,” Ibstock’s chief executive Joe Hudson stated in the report.
“We are working very hard to be the most sustainable manufacturer of clay and concrete products in the UK and we are delighted at progress so far. This is an ambition which is shared at all levels of the business and, of course, there is a groundswell of interest from outside our organisation too. There is no doubt that our customers, partners and wider stakeholders are demanding more and more from companies like ours when it comes to true sustainability, resource efficiency and supply chain transparency. As the built environment accounts for around 40% of the world’s carbon emissions, building product suppliers like us must show clear leadership and do all we can to drive change and reduce our impact on the natural world.”
The report also noted that the group achieved a 6.5% reduction in carbon emissions per tonne of production during the reporting year from a 2015 baseline. The company is targeting a 15% reduction by 2025.
Alongside the net-zero factory pilot, Ibstock has also doubled a target of sales turnover coming from sustainable products by 2025 to 20%. A 40% reduction in preventable plastics by 2025 and eliminating 200 tonnes of plastic shrink wrap - equivalent to 8.3 million soft drinks bottles – by 2022 have also been introduced.
The sustainability report notes the success of Ibstock’s solar park – the first of its kind in the brick industry – at the Group’s Leicestershire head office. The solar park will provide up to 30% of the site’s power requirement. Electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure and charging stations have also been introduced at six sites.
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.