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2020 / 2021 Edition

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Major leap forward for sustainable materials

Aggregate Industries

Aggregate Industries welcome new Net Zero rules for major UK government contracts

AGGREGATE Industries have welcomed the news that firms looking to bid for UK government contracts worth more than £5 million will need to prioritize sustainable building materials as a new rule requires them to commit to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Earlier this month, the UK Government announced that from September it will require businesses to commit to net zero by 2050 and publish clear and credible carbon-reduction plans before they can bid for major government contracts. Contactors will also need to demonstrate how they will manage their impact on the environment throughout the contract.

Welcoming the new measures as a ‘major leap forward for sustainability’, Aggregate Industries, whose parent company, LafargeHolcim, last year became the first construction materials company to sign the Net Zero Pledge, is pressing firms to make the most of emerging sustainable materials such as low-carbon concrete and asphalt.

Kirstin McCarthy, sustainability director at Aggregate Industries, commented: ‘Given the billions of pounds the government spends on construction schemes each year, these new rules are a major leap forward for sustainability – positioning the UK as a world leader.

‘However, it also means that companies hoping to win these lucrative government contracts must demonstrate a credible, robust and ambitious plan for achieving net-zero carbon emissions.

‘The good news is that Aggregate Industries have invested heavily to innovate and develop low-carbon materials in recent years, including concrete, concrete blocks and asphalt. The speedy adoption of these will be fundamental to any successful tender, hence, we’d urge those that haven’t done so already to prioritize the use of sustainable building materials now.’

The advice comes as, for the first time, the UK Government will require companies to report some Scope 3 emissions – including transportation, distribution and waste from their operations as well as suppliers – which often represent a significant proportion of an organization’s carbon footprint.

As part of a long-term strategy to decarbonize their operations, Aggregate Industries recently announced that their Cauldon Plant, in Staffordshire, will undergo a £13 million investment project to reduce its carbon footprint. This will be achieved by building a new pre-processing plant for the storage, handling and feeding of solid alternative fuels that would otherwise end up as landfill.

Ms McCarthy added: ‘While reaching Net Zero remains a big challenge for the construction sector, we’re seeing tangible progress. For instance, at Aggregate Industries, not only are we committed to removing as much transport from roads as possible through the use of rail and water transport, but we’re also leading the way in helping clients to make sustainable design and purchasing decisions by providing carbon calculations.

‘By working with suppliers truly committed to Net Zero, contractors will be well placed to demonstrate their environmental credentials to help them secure public sector projects in the coming years.’

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