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Kingspan targets net zero carbon manufacturing by 2030

3 December 2019 | By Neil Gerrard

Kingspan aims to upcycle 1bn PET bottles a year into insulation by 2025

Kingspan has revealed plans to slash its carbon emissions and switch the majority of its operations to renewable energy by 2030 under an ambitious new 10-year plan.

The company’s Planet Passionate strategy contains 12 targets in the four areas of energy, carbon, circularity and water.

Among the commitments, the company said it would power 60% of its operations directly from renewable energy by 2030, with a minimum of 20% of this energy generated on its own manufacturing sites (up from 5.9%).

It also plans to achieve net zero carbon manufacturing by the same date, along with a 50% reduction in product CO2 intensity from primary supply partners.

And it will commit to upcycle one billion polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottles a year into insulation products by 2025, as well as pledging to send no waste to landfill across all its sites.

The company will also harvest 100m litres of its water usage from rainwater and has signed up to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Circular Economy 100 (CE100) network.

'Urgent priority'

Gene Murtagh, CEO of Kingspan said: “Climate change is the single most important issue facing the world today and our most urgent priority. At Kingspan, we are committed to driving a more sustainable approach to our business in response to these issues. Energy conservation has always been at the core of our products, and how we run our business. Through Planet Passionate we will reduce carbon and energy in both our manufacturing processes and products, and continue our relentless pursuit of low-carbon buildings that deliver more performance and value, with clear targets to strive for by 2030.” 

Bianca Wong, global head of sustainability at Kingspan, added: “To protect our planet, carbon emissions need to fall by 45% by 2030, and to net zero by 2050 – but we’re currently on course to miss this goal by at least five-fold. At Kingspan we recognise the need for all businesses to take urgent action. We also know that more sustainable building products, combined with high-performance building envelope design, have the potential to save enormous amounts of energy and carbon. By working in partnership with the industry and striving to be Planet Passionate in everything we do, we are confident we can achieve the goals we have set our business and enable ourselves and our customers to contribute to the global fight against climate change.” 

In 2011, Kingspan announced a Net Zero Energy programme with a 2020 target to match 100% of its operational energy use with renewable energy and claimed it is on track to achieve this goal. It also upcycled 256 million PET bottles into its insulation in 2018.

Construction and buildings combined are estimated to account for 39% of all carbon emissions globally. The World Green Building Council estimates that embodied carbon – carbon used in the manufacturing, construction and disposal of building materials – will be responsible for half of the entire carbon footprint of new construction between now and 2050. The construction industry is also responsible for an estimated 30% of all waste to landfill globally.

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