Kingspan put their energy into change

29 November 2017 Kingspan Group
With a number of significant advancements in the climate change agenda over the past 12 months it has never been more important for businesses to recognise and take responsibility for their impact on the environment. For over a decade, Kingspan Insulated Panels has been leading the way with its dedication to sustainable business practise. Whether it is through its products, processes or people, it has been putting its energy into helping to create a built environment which is forward-thinking, efficient, adaptable and productive.

There’s no better example of Kingspan’s commitment to change than its pledge to become a Net-Zero Energy (NZE) company by 2020. Whilst this seems like an ambitious aim, in 2016, the Kingspan Insulated Panels West Division achieved 58.9% of its NZE target – 8.9% ahead of its interim target of 50%. This achievement is evidence of the company’s ongoing efforts to reduce its carbon and energy footprints by upgrading the thermal performance of its existing facilities and the implementation of renewable energy generation. Its largest manufacturing site at Holywell uses 100% renewable electricity through a 400 kWp Kingspan Rooftop Solar PV system, and the procurement of certified renewable energy. Planning permission has also recently been granted to install a wind turbine on the site. When installed in 2018, it is estimated the turbine will generate 2,374,000 kWh of energy and offset 1,440 tCO- approximately half of the remaining CO2 on site.

As a result of the NZE initiative, Kingspan Group was placed on the CPD Climate Change ‘A’ list this year for a third year running, and Kingspan Insulated Panels was awarded Manufacturer of the Year at the BusinessGreen Leaders Awards 2016 for turning its sustainability pledge into a reality. The initiative was recently presented at BusinessGreen Leaders' Summit 2017 by Divisional Sustainability Manager, Bianca Wong. The inaugural one-day event, brought together some of the world’s top sustainable business thinkers to offer unique insights on evolution and future development of the “green economy."

Other operational highlights include the recycling of 21,542 tonnes of material across the Kingspan Insulated Panels business during the reporting period of 2015 to 2016. The construction industry is the top consumer of raw materials globally, therefore it is vital to ensure any waste is minimised throughout the manufacturing process. Using a hierarchy approach to identify areas where waste can be reduced, Kingspan have become a ‘zero-waste-to-landfill’ company across the UK and Ireland. Additionally, there has been a keen focus on the reduction of onsite waste, from a 28% decrease in wrapping material and return-and-recycle site services, to ongoing investigations into how the panel products can be disposed of at the end of their life.

A Life Cycle Analysis has been completed to assess products against all the significant environmental impacts associated with the product in order to identify areas where improvements can be made. These measures will also contribute to environmental assessment methods around the world, such as BREEAM, LEED, Green Star and Estidama. Additionally, in 2016, the company extended its work with the BRE’s Environmental Profiles Assessment Methodology. ISO 14020 and 14041 compliant, the approach covered 12 environmental impacts over a 60 year cradle-to-grave period. As a result, a number of its roof and wall panels have achieved an A+ rating, which can also contribute to the achievement of the maximum amount of credits within the materials category of BREEAM.

The company has also made substantial investment in the research and development of energy efficient products and technologies for the future, particularly with the launch of QuadCore™ insulated panel technology. It is the industry’s highest performing closed-cell insulated panel core, enabling thinner panels to be manufactured faster with less energy and using fewer raw materials.
As the market-leading manufacturers of advanced building envelope systems and solutions, Kingspan Insulated Panels recognises its responsibility to not only pioneer new technologies with energy conservation at their heart, but to share its wealth of knowledge and expertise with the industry in order to foster a culture of continuous development. This year, it has unveiled its online education platform KLIX- the Kingspan Learning and Information eXchange. Internally, it will allow Kingspan teams across the world to develop their technical knowledge and skills, enabling them to better serve its customers. Externally, KLIX will also offer customers live, online learning and comprehensive technical support, making it the first port of call for any project needs.
More sustainability highlights, including new targets for the 2017/2018 period, are detailed in Kingspan Insulated Panels’ latest Sustainability Report, available to download here. The report has been carried out in accordance with the GRI G4 core option, has been third part reviewed and has undergone the content index service provided by GRI.

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