Decarbonizing Manufacturing to Accelerate a Net Zero Future

At Kingspan we are working to decarbonize the manufacturing process, adopting clean, renewable sources of energy to reduce our carbon footprint. The shift to renewable energy is part of our 10-year global commitment to sustainability called Planet Passionate. As part of this initiative, we are focusing on increasing our direct use of renewable energy 60% by 2030.
We’re hitting our stride in reaching this goal. Last month, we announced that our Columbus, Ohio manufacturing facility is powered by 100% direct renewable energy. Leveraging wind -- the cleanest source of energy -- the facility’s electricity is direct-to-grid from a wind farm operated by WGL Energy and distributed by Columbus Southern Power Company.
That is just one of the most recent steps in our transition to renewable energy. Next up, Kingspan’s manufacturing plants in Caledon, Ontario, and Langley, British Columbia, will be shifting to 100% renewable energy.
Decarbonizing the manufacturing process is critical to combatting climate change. That’s because the industrial sector is the largest consumer of energy and one of the primary sources of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), accounting for 22% of GHGs in 2018, according to the environmental protection agency (EPA). These emissions continue to increase with global fossil CO2 emissions rising 62% between 1990 and 2019.
Energy efficiency is key to reducing industrial carbon emissions. A report by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) noted that “decarbonizing industry is particularly important, because emissions from U.S. industry are projected to grow more than those from any other end-use sector through 2050.” The ACEEE report pointed to energy efficiency as a primary strategy for reducing industrial emissions. Currently available efficiency measures can cut industrial emissions 15%, reduce costs, boost resilience and create jobs, according to the report.
Reducing use of fossil fuels takes a strong commitment to energy efficiency, including efforts to generate renewable energy, such as solar, wind, anaerobic digestion and hydro in our facilities. Our path to net zero energy status is generating results. Kingspan Group has seen a 77% reduction in carbon intensity across its operations and is benefiting from 34.5 GWh of energy generated on its own sites. We are 75% on track to net zero energy with a 35% reduction in energy cost. The total projected energy savings over the lifetime of the Kingspan insulation systems, sold worldwide in 2019, is equivalent to taking 79 million cars off the road annually.
Global greenhouse gas emissions need to fall by 7.6% each year over the next decade if the world is to get back on track towards the goal of limiting temperature rises to close to 1.5 degrees Celsius. 
Aggressive carbon reduction targets in manufacturing can help reduce GHGs. At Kingspan, we are holistically and aggressively setting targets to reduce our carbon footprint, embedding sustainability into every aspect of our manufacturing process, and making the shift to renewable energy.
Through Planet Passionate – our game plan for impacting the global issues of climate change, circularity and protection of our natural world – we will continue to drive action on decarbonizing manufacturing.

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