While addressing our own direct impacts remains an integral part of our program, we’ve learnt that addressing value chain impacts is also important to affect meaningful change. In 2018, we verified our science-based targets including a scope 3 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction target. The target aims to address up and downstream emissions within our value chain. To go further quicker, we set another more aggressive scope 3 target as part of Planet Passionate which is aimed at enabling us to significantly reduce our upstream emissions and in turn the embodied carbon of our products. As scope 3 emissions are beyond our direct control, we expect these targets will be very difficult but nonetheless working with our supply chain we must strive to achieve these goals.
By taking these actions, we will not only reduce our company’s impact on the planet but also further enhance the environmental benefits of our products. In doing this, we aim to help enable lower whole life carbon buildings at scale. We’re currently developing our detailed roadmaps, strategies and timelines to manage and track progress. We plan to publicly report our progress through a new annual Planet Passionate report, CDP, RE100 and the Science-Based Target Initiative.
The challenges we face require enormous change, often at a systemic level. We believe these can only be met through true collaboration and partnership. Kingspan is part of several important initiatives aiming to achieve industry transformation including the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the World Green Building Council’s Net Zero Carbon Building Commitment, along with their Advancing Net Zero project. We are also supporting organisations such as the Born Free Foundation that are working to protect the natural world and we will continue to scale up our global action throughout the programme.
Empowering our people
We are mobilising our energetic and talented colleagues to help accelerate our programme and impact. We believe that sustainability is a cause that is important to our employees and want to help enable them to be Planet Passionate both at work and home. We’re creating more opportunities to become actively involved including a Champions Network, an ‘ideas feed’ connects directly into our sustainability teams and a programme toolkit to enable everyone to learn about and grow the programme throughout our business. We will have regular progress updates and will use existing annual events such as our Supplier Days to help develop solutions. The internal response to date has been extremely positive and we fully expect our people will help us rise to this challenge.
Helping our customers to be Planet Passionate
We believe our most important contribution in supporting climate action will come from helping our customers to reduce the whole life carbon of their buildings around the world. We will continue to innovate - enhancing our existing products and bring new solutions to market that help save energy, carbon and water in buildings for decades to come.
We must work collaboratively to replace the old linear approach to construction and to mainstream new low carbon approaches to the design, build and operation of buildings. Last year, we opened our new IKON global innovation centre of excellence for Research and Development. It is a living research building, focused on finding solutions to global issues through advanced materials and digital technologies. IKON will work in collaboration with universities, research institutions and industry partners across a range of areas to drive new and better solutions for our built environment.
The scale of change required in a very short timeframe is enormous. A major economic challenge will face us all once the COVID-19 crisis passes. All sectors in society will be affected and we will look to policymakers and legislators to rapidly put the best and most effective recovery package in place. The crisis holds profound lessons that can help us address these challenges, if we make greater economic and environmental resiliency core to our planning for the recovery ahead. The journey won’t be easy, but we know we can, and must, make this happen.
Bianca Wong, Global Head of Sustainability, Kingspan Group
*UN Global Status Report 2017
**Net Zero Energy: We aim to achieve net zero energy by the end of 2020. We have defined net zero energy as meaning: the non-renewable energy use associated with our manufacturing sites will be minimised through a combination of energy efficiency measures, on-site renewable energy generation and the purchase of certified renewable energy from the grid. Our remaining non-renewable energy use will be offset by the purchase of renewable energy certificates.