Our product is steel – a substrate that ticks many boxes as an environmentally friendly building material. Recyclable material? Check. Recycled content? Check. Long life-cycle that minimizes the need for replacement? Check.
But we also know that there are many ways we can make our production facilities have less of an impact on our planet. So back in 2015, we made a commitment to get to Net-Zero in how we manufacture our products. Our goal was to achieve this in five years, which we accomplished in 2020.
“Net-Zero” simply means that we balance any carbon emissions we emit by offsetting an equivalent amount from the atmosphere. It’s not been easy, but here’s what we’ve done over the last five years to achieve Net-Zero:
1. We reduced our power usage by improving our Power Factor, which is the ratio of working power measured in kilowatts at all our facilities. At all of our plants, we’ve improved our Power Factor from 0.87 to 0.93 through capacitor banks and modulators. This resulted in savings of $130,000 per year – demonstrating once again that good environmental decisions and smart economical decisions are not mutually exclusive.
2. The energy we use is now 100% renewable. As we don’t yet have fully renewable energy on-site at out manufacturing facilities we purchase offset credits through Bullfrog Power and American Wind.
3. We radically reduced our electricity usage through switching from mercury-laden fluorescents to LED lighting. Motion sensors and skylights have also optimized daylighting opportunities so we’re reducing our reliance on lighting more generally.
4. We reduced our usage of Natural Gas with High Efficiency Heating replacements.
5. Our propane forklifts are being replaced with battery-operated forklifts when they reach end-of-life. To date, 35 out of our 65 forklifts are now electric.
We take great pride in the fact that the products we sell are environmentally friendly, but we’re even more proud that our manufacturing facilities are striving to produce them in an increasingly environmentally responsible way.
So what’s next?
Achieving Net Zero has inspired our Planet Passionate journey to be net-positive within the next five years through innovations that enhance our ability to procure green energy directly – including investing in solar power and battery storage, starting with our Stratford manufacturing facility. We’ll continue to share these steps with others in our supply chain to help them do the same.
We’ve embarked on a Planet Passionate journey together with the team at Kingspan. Follow the steps we’re collectively taking to create a greener industry.