The Road to GRI
This month saw another eventful Ecobuild, with plenty of innovation on show including our new lower-lambda Kooltherm products. The show provides a real perspective on just how far the construction industry has come since the early 2000s when it became clear that urgent action was required on climate change. Back then, as now, Kingspan Insulation was keen to help lead this effort. However, we first faced a fundamental question: How can a company accurately gauge its carbon emissions?
For a manufacturer of our size, that was no mean feat. In addition to obvious emission sources such as heating, lighting and powering production sites, the assessment also needed to consider everything from our manufacturing processes and supply chains to emissions from staff vehicles and haulage vans.
In order to tackle this mammoth task, it was clear that a formal framework was required. As a result, in 2004, we commissioned ARUP to appraise our main facility in Pembridge using its SPeAR framework. This assessment provided us with a clear baseline for the sustainable performance of the site, as well as an overview of our wider work as an employer and an active member of the local community.
We were already the first insulation manufacturer to get life cycle assessments carried out on our products by the BRE and the SPeAR report provided further suggestions, forming the basis for an ongoing Action Plan. We carried out annual SPeAR reviews for the next five years, expanding the assessment to our Selby site when it opened in 2008.
Some of the highlights of that period included:
- The installation of a Combined Heat and Power Plant at Pembridge;
- Successfully identifying more efficient routing for haulage and encouraging the use of higher capacity trailers and more fuel–efficient vehicles;
- Large–scale improvements to waste management and material consumption practices, and;
- The formation of the Kingspan Insulation Community Trust, a charity providing funding for the communities surrounding both the Pembridge and Selby sites.
In 2007, we started to record indicator data from the Global Reporting Initiative framework. This information was incorporated in the 2008 report and by 2009, we had switched entirely to the GRI scheme. To hold ourselves fully accountable, the reports were carried out to level B+ of the framework, requiring the results to be backed by external assurances.
We have since completed a further four reports under the GRI scheme. These reports highlight the work we have done and set future targets as we move towards the overall Kingspan Group aim of achieving net zero carbon across all Kingspan sites by 2020.
For a more in-depth look at our ongoing work, take a look at the GRI Sustainability & Responsibility Reports and External Assurance on the Sustainability page.
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