Recent reports suggest embodied carbon will form more than half of all built environment emissions by 2035. To tackle this, the UK Government announced that all new buildings must reduce their carbon emissions by a third. [Source]
Building Regulations were amended to enforce a 30% cut on emissions from new homes and a 27% cut on other buildings. The new rules will come into force in June 2022. [Source]
Embodied Carbon Vs Operational Carbon
Carbon dioxide in construction can come from various sources. These sources are more than just the energy required to provide heating, lighting, cooling and ventilation throughout the life of the completed building.
These operational emissions are important. But there is increasing focus on the embodied emissions associated with all the non-operational aspects of a building. This includes those from the extraction, manufacture and assembly of a building’s materials and components, repair and maintenance.
The carbon dioxide accumulates in the atmosphere contributing to the greenhouse effect and consequently climate change. It is for this reason that Genuit is committed to the objective of achieving a low-carbon construction economy.
Across the Genuit Group we are striving to improve sustainability in the construction world with activities to reduce embedded carbon. As well as signing up to Science Based Targets 1.5°C pledge – we have ambitious targets that we aim to hit by 2025.
We are holding ourselves accountable by setting a clear strategy and measuring progress against the targets which include ensuring 62 per cent of our plastic products (by tonnage) are made from recycled plastics; the carbon content of products using recycled polymer is a fraction of products made from virgin materials.
We have also committed to a 66 per cent reduction on carbon dioxide emissions by 2025 as part of our pledge to net zero carbon.
Genuit Group businesses are looking at the lifecycle of products – how many years will that product work before being replaced, and can the product be recycled or reused?
We have also been taking action with regard to manufacturing processes. Moving to low carbon methods through renewable energy, with supply chains established more locally.
Recycle and Reuse
Polypipe Civils and Green Urbanisation, for example, has invested heavily and optimised its own recycling and polymer processing plant. The Group is now the largest recycler within the European piping industry.
We have not wavered in our commitment to reducing operational carbon either. Nu-Heat, UFCM and Polypipe Building Products are encouraging customers to switch to renewable sources for heating systems as they manufacture and install low-carbon, low-energy underfloor heating in homes and businesses across the nation. Adey are the market leaders in magnetic filters, which ensure energy efficient operation of water based heating systems. Adey filters are a low cost option for retro fitting and reducing the carbon impact of existing systems.
This can have a direct impact on reducing carbon footprint of customers. It demonstrates that Genuit Group is taking a holistic view to reduce carbon in the construction industry. From manufacture – to supply chain – to the operation and life of the building.
To find out more about how Genuit is supporting the transition to low carbon construction, get in touch.