The Road to Zero Carbon Aircrete
Aircrete’s sustainable qualities together with our efforts to reduce carbon emissions associated with our products make zero carbon aircrete a real possibility.
H+H is committed to achieving net-zero emissions in its operations and products by 2050.
H+H Group undertook a detailed Lifecycle Analysis (LCA) of its aircrete products in 2020. This enabled us to understand the carbon emissions associated with the manufacture, transport, function and eventual destruction of our products.
We believe that this cradle-to-grave approach is the only way to truly measure the environmental impact of a product or material. Focusing on one part of this process does not give a full picture.
Like many manufacturers, our products are part of a supply chain. As such, our own manufacturing operation contributes only a percentage of the embodied carbon associated with our products. We are working closely with the suppliers of our cement and lime materials to support their planned routes to zero carbon.
Low carbon manufacturing
We are planning an ambitious roadmap to reduce carbon emissions in our manufacturing operation. In our manufacturing plants, there will be a focus on improving the energy efficiency of equipment and processes, combined with a switch to renewable energy sources. These actions will set us on a path to achieve carbon-neutral manufacturing by 2050.
This will not happen overnight and our sustainability strategy sets out targets for us to meet along the way. Our short-term target is to reduce energy consumption per M3 by 7% by 2024 compared to a 2019 baseline.
We have already made progress. Our Combined Heat and Power systems and the wind turbine powering our Pollington plant, are just two of our achievements. The roadmap will build on these successes.
Our LCA also considers the transport associated with the manufacture and distribution of our products. Manufacturing the majority of our aircrete products in the UK means our transport emissions are already relatively low. Nevertheless, we are planning to switch all our vehicles to electric or hydrogen fuel over time.
Aircrete for Low Carbon Homes
Understanding the environmental impact of a product is about more than assessing just the emissions associated with its manufacture. It’s important to consider how a product contributes to energy efficient buildings, as well as considering its performance over its lifetime.
Cement-based products go through the process of recarbonisation. This means that buildings constructed using these products act as carbon-skins during their lifetime and their eventual recycling or destruction. Additionally, aircrete has excellent thermal properties which make buildings more energy efficient while in use. For example, H+H aircrete products are ideal for use in Passivhaus construction.
With this in mind, it is not hard to image a future where aircrete is viewed not only as a carbon-neutral product but as a carbon-negative material.