Kingspan net zero energy

Our Net Zero Energy
2020 Vision

“Together we have the opportunity to make our built environment more energy-efficient, attractive, adaptable, environmentally responsible and productive. The way we build can be more effective and reach higher standards than ever before. We can make our buildings really work for us; consuming and generating energy smartly to become real investments in our future.”


Gene M. Murtagh, Chief Executive Officer, Kingspan Group PLC

Kingspan Holywell net zero energy building

Our Net Zero Energy Journey

In 2011, Kingspan Group set itself what seemed to be an almost impossible challenge: that by 2020 we will match 100% of our operational energy with renewable energy. Our Net Zero Energy programme was all about achieving this through a mix of energy reduction, on-site renewable energy generation and procurement of certified renewable energy. As we reach the successful conclusion of our 10 year Net Zero Energy programme in 2020, we are launching a new 10 year Planet Passionate Programme.

Our goals in reach. Our progress in almost 10 years...

Our Net Zero Energy Committee global team consists of 17 dedicated and passionate people representing all business units and all geographies. This team collaborates and shares best practice in order to deliver our ambitious 2020 goal through our three-step strategy: Save More – Generate More – Buy More.

Our Net Zero Energy Strategy

Save More
Generate More
Buy More

Improving the energy efficiency of our operations remains the highest priority across the Group. A wide range of projects have been implemented including the following:

  • LED lighting installations including daylight dimming and occupancy sensing; 
  • optimised daylighting solutions including roof and wall lights; 
  • heat recovery systems; 
  • compressed air system improvements;
  • insulation to reduce heat loss; 
  • destratification fans to improve heat distribution; 
  • low energy process equipment installation; 
  • transitioned forklifts from LPG to renewable energy; 
  • optimised the use of lower gauge steel in access floor panels, saving wielding energy;
  • power factor correction systems.

A key part of the “Save More” strategy has been employee awareness and training. Implementation of Energy Management Standard ISO 50001 in several of our manufacturing sites has also been effective in driving energy efficiency improvements and increased use of sub-metering has facilitated accurate targeting of energy saving opportunities. Our efforts to make further improvements will continue in 2019 and beyond and we are already working on some significant opportunities that have the capability of delivering over 100,000kWh per annum savings.

A key foundation of our “Generate More” strategy has been investing in on site generation. In 2018 5.9% of our total energy use was generated from renewable sources on our own manufacturing sites, and we have ambitious targets to grow this. The technologies presently in use include:

  • solar PV; 
  • solar thermal; 
  • biomass heat; 
  • biomass CHP (electricity); 
  • wind; 
  • anaerobic digestion.

 

A particular highlight of 2018 was the erection of a 1.5MW wind turbine at our Holywell facility. It stands at over 75 metres in height and has blades which span 26 metres. The turbine was switched on in December and we anticipate that the machine will generate over 1.5GWh of electricity per annum.

The purchase of renewable energy from the grid is an important part of our strategy and enables us to support the development of a global renewable energy infrastructure. Our preferred option is to purchase certified renewable energy (both electricity and gas) direct from our suppliers but where this is not possible we have made purchases of Guarantees of Origin (GOs) in Europe, Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) in North America and International Renewable Energy Certificates (iRECs) in other regions as necessary.

Net-Zero Energy in Action

Watch how our Insulation plant at Somerton became Australia's first Green Star rated manufacturing facility. Opend in 2017, achieving Net Zero Energy was core to the development of our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility.

What’s New: Our Journey to Net Zero Energy

Answers around Net Zero Energy

What is Net Zero Energy?
Why Net Zero Energy?
What are the challenges?
Kingspan Mark Harris

“Put quite simply, our Net Zero Energy programme required that our energy use is minimised through maximising energy efficiency measures. Also all energy consumed must be matched with renewable sources on an aggregated basis across the manufacturing estate, and as far as possible should be self-generated or procured directly from the grid. For a global manufacturing company this presents a serious challenge.”

Kingspan Roof - TopDek PV

The scientific evidence that the rate of climate change is manmade is now overwhelming. Approximately 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions are attributable to buildings. We all have a responsibility to take what action we can to prevent further damage. In committing to the Net Zero Energy target, Kingspan Group is uniquely positioned to demonstrate the worth of our products, and to prove the business case for taking such radical steps.

Kingspan Group

With over 14,000 employees and 129 manufacturing plants operating across the world, the scale of the operation is daunting. The very fact that we are growing adds to the obstacles: 

  • increasing demand for products leads to an increase in manufacturing energy demand;
  • regular growth through acquisition adds new facilities at different levels of development and energy efficiency;
  • employees need to be engaged in the work through cultural change. 

Despite these obstacles, the business is on track to exceed its interim target of 69% renewable energy use by 2016.

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