In addition to reducing our energy consumption, part of our sustainability strategy is to improve resource use and reduce waste.
We have installed robust waste management practices through a ‘reduce, reuse, and recycle’ approach. H+H International has set a target of zero waste to landfill by 2024 however, in the UK we have already achieved that target ahead of schedule.
Any product waste from our factories is reused; at our Borough Green plant it is crushed and re-introduced into the production process, at our Pollington factory waste goes into another product stream to become part of an aggregate mix. These processes are ingrained in our manufacturing practices.
We also invest in using water efficiently and aim to recycle wastewater wherever possible. For example, at our Pollington plant we collect all condensate water from the autoclaving process, all surface water from the yard and all reject water from on-site water filtration systems. In this way we recycle an estimated 60% of our total water use on site.
At H+H we support the principles of a circular economy. Through our company wide innovation function we are investigating the recycling and re-use of waste from construction sites and demolition rubble, which has the potential to be re-used in the production of aircrete.
However, there are currently a number of challenges in recovering and sorting aircrete waste. These challenges must be resolved in order to provide aggregate of a consistent quality and to make the practice of recycling economic for manufacturers or third-party recyclers. In this regard, we are supporting efforts to standardise circular processes at an industry-association level and through legislation.
It is not only on the product itself where we focus our efforts on reducing waste. For transportation and delivery purposes our Celcon Blocks are loaded on to wooden pallets. We use a pallet recovery and reuse service which is endorsed by WRAP (The Waste and Resources Action Programme). This ensures that our used pallets are collected, repaired where necessary, and reused. The service we use has diverted 22,000 tonnes of timber from landfill this year alone.
We have also directed our attention to minimising the environmental impact of our packaging. We use a thin film and have done so for the last few years. We also use 30% recycled content in our packaging.
These are just some of the steps we’re taking to reduce the impact of our operations on the environment. Find out more about our sustainability strategy in the latest H+H International sustainability report.