Net Zero Energy

Our goal is in reach. Our progress in just 5 years...

What does Net Zero Energy mean?

Put quite simply, achieving Net Zero Energy status requires that our energy use is minimised through maximising energy efficiency measures, all energy consumed must come from renewable sources on an aggregated basis across the manufacturing estate, and as far as possible should be self-generated.  For a global manufacturing company this presents a serious challenge. 

Mark Harris, Building Technology Director

What are the challenges?

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With over 10,000 employees and 90+ 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 50% renewable energy use by 2016.

How can it be done?

The Trias Energetica gives us three guiding principles... 

1.    First reduce demand
A ‘fabric first’ approach is the foundation to achieve early energy efficiencies. As manufacturers of high performance insulation and insulated building elements, Kingspan has the understanding and capability to create extremely thermally efficient buildings. This expertise has been applied at every opportunity, both to improve existing constructions and to inform the design of new ones. In addition, energy efficiency saving opportunities in all aspects of our energy use are being investigated and implemented where possible.

2.    Generate through renewable sources
A wide range of different renewable technologies have been used in different combinations, to meet the requirements of individual sites. Rooftop solar panels, solar hot water, biomass and wind are just some of the projects that have been completed or are currently underway on our sites. 
3.    Supply any remaining demand through responsible sources
Once every avenue has been exhausted to insulate buildings, reduce demand, and generate on site, the final step in the process is to procure renewable energy to achieve 100% Net Zero Energy. In Europe and North America, some aspects of the market are well developed and authenticated sources are generally available. Elsewhere, the International Renewable Energy Certificate Standard, or I-REC,  and alternative opportunities, will be sought to track the supply.
Every site within the Group is different, and an individual plan of action is needed for each one. By applying these three principles across the whole of our estate we make sure that we prioritise the work correctly, becoming more efficient in the process. 

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