Building materials group, Kingspan, plans to go green. It has launched a strategy to reduce its carbon emissions by 2030.
Implementing the strategy will be a big undertaking for the company, which has 129 manufacturing sites in over 60 countries employing more than 14,000 staff.
The construction industry is one of the biggest contributors to carbon and greenhouse gas emissions, with construction and buildings accounting for 39% of all carbon emissions globally, according to a report coordinated by the UN Environmental Programme.
Construction is carbon intensive. The industry is building assets that will be in place for a very long time. "Constructing buildings leads to a lot of carbon emissions as well as the use of energy in those buildings," explains Bianca Wong, the Global Head of Sustainability at Kingspan.
"Through Planet Passionate we want to significantly reduce our carbon footprint as we continue to grow our business. Through our products, we want to bring more innovative solutions to market to help tackle the energy use from buildings," she said.
Kingspan has 12 targets across 4 key areas - energy, carbon, circularity and water.
Energy - The company plans to rapidly increase its use of the amount of renewable energy, with a specific focus on on-site generation and solar PV.
Carbon - It wants to reduce our value chain emissions by 50%, and change its our car fleet to zero emissions.
Circularity - Kingspan wants to achieve zero waste throughout the business, and continue upcycling consumer waste into high performance insulation.
Water - The company wants to harvest 100 million litres of rainwater for use on its sites.
Ms Wong says each target will be challenging but reducing emissions in its supply chain will be most difficult. "We are trying to work to address emissions that are beyond our control, but as you continue to work on sustainability, and you reduce your own emissions, you have to go up the supply chain to tackle those and reduce your value chain emissions," she said. "We are going to work very closely with our supply chain to reduce the overall embodied carbon within our products to build in the most sustainable way possible."
Implementing Kingspan's Planet Passionate strategy will be both costly and cost efficient. "It's difficult to put a definitive cost on the strategy so early on, and we're developing those strategies. We will be taking a long term view, and reviewing business cases one by one."
Kingspan recently opened a €10 million global innovation centre, Icon, at its headquarters in Kingscourt, Co Cavan. Ms Wong said the facility will be a vital cog in delivering its Planet Passionate strategy.