REDUCING CO2 & COST FOR CUSTOMERS
The UK government has made a legally binding commitment to achieve carbon net zero by 2050. Across the industry, it has become mission-critical to find environmentally conscious ways to produce concrete. We want to help.
The concrete industry is undertaking a wide range of solutions to reduce its environmental impact, and specifically CO2, yet the concrete batching plant itself is often overlooked. What measures can be undertaken at a batching plant level to complement other carbon reduction initiatives?
At ConSpare, we believe that carbon emissions associated with concrete production can be reduced significantly by improving the performance of concrete batch plants and employing smart maintenance solutions.
Producing concrete through batch plants has always been a resource-heavy process. As well as requiring large volumes of raw materials, carbon-intensive cement and huge amounts of power, it also consumes large amounts of steel components such as wear parts and spare parts. The challenge today for concrete producers is finding ways in which this long-running approach to batch production can be improved, and done in a way that is more cost- and carbon-effective.
THREE KEY AREAS WHERE WE HELP YOU REDUCE CO2 & COST
1. Reducing raw material usage and waste
Reducing cement usage, whether that be Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) or a green alternative. Minimising the number of rejected batches and maximising yield.
2. Reducing power usage
Identifying areas of the process where excess power is expended through poorly specified or maintained equipment, and adopting energy efficient technologies.
3. Reducing maintenance interventions
Ensuring that the concrete batch plant is running as efficiently as possible with minimal maintenance, investing in components and spares with the lowest whole-life carbon footprint.
For full details on our approach to making concrete batch plants and the production process more sustainable, download a copy of our white paper here.
CONSPARE'S JOURNEY TO BECOME MORE SUSTAINABLE
At ConSpare, we pride ourselves on the continuous improvement of our business. As well as helping our customers to reduce CO2, we acknowledge the need to reduce our own carbon footprint and become as sustainable a business as possible.
Here’s a list of our current achievements and areas in which we’re looking to improve:
Energy efficiency and utilising green energy
New energy efficient premises – Moving premises from Pinxton to Castlewood has significantly reduced our energy consumption. This cutting edge, thermally efficient building is predicted to lower total annual energy consumption by 70% compared to our previous premises. It doesn’t use gas or oil for heating, using only lower carbon electricity. Smart LED lighting is used throughout, and EV chargers are available for staff.
Clean energy from solar – We have installed a 100kW photovoltaic (PV) solar array on the roof of Castlewood to power our operations. This is predicted to save 23.5 tonnes of CO2 per year, equating to 21.5% of total Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions. Read more here.
Focusing on re-use and recycling
Reducing the impact of our despatches – Where possible, we use as many recycled and re-used materials as we can within our despatched packages and pallets. We also continue to explore the use of biodegradable materials where appropriate. Improvements include:
• We regularly use recycled and reused boxes, pallets and packaging material
• We use biodegradable plastic packaging “peanuts” in boxes
• Single-use plastic document wallets are no longer used
• Plastic based packing tape has been replaced with paper-based tape
Improving processes and going paperless – Improving operational efficiencies also has a significant impact on our sustainability efforts. As part of our journey to make our entire sales process digital, a large proportion of operations are now considered fully paperless. We estimate that this has saved the use of 32,000 sheets of paper per year, a reduction of 40%. This is equivalent to saving three large pine trees per year.
Using fewer single-use plastics – We look for opportunities in both our office and warehouse areas to reduce the use of single-use plastics and materials which cannot be easily recycled. Whether it be eliminating plastic cups or ensuring our branded plastic pens are produced from recycled or biodegradable materials, we look for all opportunities to make improvements.
We have partnered with Go Climate Positive to accurately evaluate, monitor and improve the carbon footprint of our business. We now continually search for areas in which we can improve the sustainability of both ConSpare and ProSpare.
• ICE Database 2019: Embodied CO2e of Aggregate & Sand, Virgin, Land Won & Marine = 4.93kgCO2e/t
• ICE Database 2011: Embodied CO2e of Polyurethane = 3,760kgCO2e/t
• ICE Database 2019: Embodied CO2e of Polyethylene = 2,540kgCO2e/t
• ICE Database 2019: Embodied CO2e of Rubber = 2,850kgCO2e/t
• ICE Database 2011: Embodied CO2e of Steel (UK General – Virgin) = 2,890kgCO2e/t
• ICE Database 2011: Embodied CO2e of Steel (UK General – Recycled) = 470kgCO2e/t
• ICE Database 2011: Embodied CO2e of Steel (UK Average) = 1,460kgCO2e/t
• ICE Database 2019: Embodied CO2e of Cement, General, UK Average Blended = 832kgCO2e/t
• ICE Database 2019: Embodied CO2e of Cement, CEM1 Ordinary Portland Cement = 912kgCO2e/t
• ICE Database 2019: Embodied CO2e of GGBS = 83kgCO2e/t
• ICE Database 2019: Embodied CO2e of Ground Limestone = 32kgCO2e/t
• DEFRA 2023 GHG Conversion Factors UK Grid Electricity + Transmission & Dist. = 0.225kgCO2e/kWh
• DEFRA 2022 GHG Conversion Factors UK Grid Electricity + Transmission & Dist. = 0.211kgCO2e/kWh
• DEFRA 2021 GHG Conversion Factors UK Grid Electricity + Transmission & Dist. = 0.232kgCO2e/kWh
• DEFRA 2020 GHG Conversion Factors UK Grid Electricity + Transmission & Dist. = 0.253kgCO2e/kWh
• DEFRA 2019 GHG Conversion Factors UK Grid Electricity + Transmission & Dist. = 0.277kgCO2e/kWh
• Interactive Carbonbrief 2008 Figure – How UK Transformed Electricity Supply Decade = 0.495kgCO2/kWh
Sheets of Paper in a Tree:
• Ribble Packaging Ltd 2018: It is estimated that a standard pine tree, with 45ft of the usable trunk and a diameter of eight inches, will produce around 10,000 sheets of paper.