ACO Technologies’ achievement in reducing its carbon emissions offers a roadmap to aspiring CO2nstructZero companies, after the company reduced its carbon emissions by 31% in the four years from 2015 to 2019.
The reduction in carbon emissions driven to meet the Government’s target to be net zero by 2050 is one of the reasons why ACO has become one of the first CO2nstructZero Business Champions and the first construction products manufacturer to join the initiative.
The reduction was driven by a relentless focus on small changes and successive incremental gains that together have had a dramatic impact on the company’s carbon emissions.
These include the development of new products, using new materials to protect ecosystems and biodiversity, operating sustainable business practices compliant with ISO 14001 and aligning with relevant UN sustainability goals. In addition, the company focused on commercial and manufacturing operations, specifically electricity and gas usage and recycling, as well as business car mileage and onsite plant such as forklifts.
Dr David Smoker, Technical Director at ACO Technologies, says that there is no magic bullet for construction products manufacturers to reduce their carbon emissions. “The objective of Net Zero will be achieved by a focus on every aspect of a business. This includes business vehicles, plant and equipment, employee behaviour, changing working practices, manufacturing processes and new product development. Added together these can make a major contribution to reducing carbon emissions.”
New product development has been a particular focus, specifically the use of geometric science to reduce the use of concrete haunching which is saving 11kg of CO2 per linear metre installed of ACO MonoDrain. Similarly, the development of ACO’s StormBrixx product, a stackable stormwater attenuation solution, is reducing transport to site by 75% compared to other similar products.
ACO has also developed a new polymer concrete – Vienite – that incorporates a substantial percentage of recycled material, maintaining equal performance characteristics as traditional polymer concrete.
He concluded: “The objective of Net Zero by 2050 is a goal which will determine the built environment for generations to come and shape the future of the construction industry.
“We are particularly excited that CO2nstructZero will be bringing people together to share best practice, provide support and agree collaborative action plans that will be fed back to the Government as we works towards a low carbon future. Our primary hope is that the initiative will help deliver a more formal consolidation of approach across the construction industry, helping to stimulate collaborative behaviours across supply chains and a cohesive mindset across all disciplines.
“None of us are operating in isolation. It is only through working together that we can achieve Net Zero. While there is still work to be done to achieve net zero targets, CO2nstructZero is a major step in achieving this most important of goals.”
ACO was among the first 14 companies selected by the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) as a Business Champion. The initiative enables companies to be role models in the construction industry’s change programme, demonstrating a commitment towards the sector’s drive towards reducing carbon emissions in the delivery and operation of the built environment.