By Anders Lorenzen
While some sectors are easily and quickly decarbonising, the process is more of an uphill struggle for the building sector in particular for the steel, cement and concrete industries.
But from 2025, large building products manufacturer Forterra has said it will be sourcing 70% of its electricity needs from a solar farm in central England. The brick, block and concrete producer, based in Northampton, will use renewable energy at its 17 sites for 15 years, which in turn is estimated to deliver annual carbon savings worth 14,000 tonnes – equivalent to the energy usage of 13,500 households.
The solar farm is to be built by Lightsource BP (owned by the oil and gas giant BP), its Director of Power Markets for Europe, Zosia Reisner said about the joint project: “Forterra is showing real leadership with this deal, which will drastically reduce the carbon emissions of its operations. It is also an astute move to secure predictable, long-term energy costs at a time of extreme price volatility.”
Progress towards net-zero
Stephen Harrison, Forterra’s Chief Executive, added: “This agreement sees us making tangible progress in the race to net zero. Rather than relying on green energy generated by others, we are actually investing in a dedicated source of renewable energy generation, helping to decarbonise the grid, something that is critical to the UK’s net-zero journey.”
Forterra said this is just the latest of a series of net-zero investments they have made in their quest to reduce their carbon footprint. This includes a reduction in single-use plastics, the use of biodiesel, a switch to electric and hybrid mobility in their car fleet and a £21 million investment in their haulage fleet to make them compliant with Euro 6, an EU emission standard.
Forterra is also currently developing what they call the largest and most efficient brick factory in Europe at their Desford plant in Leicestershire.