H+H is committed to achieving net-zero emissions in its operations and products by 2050.
During 2020 H+H Group undertook a detailed Lifecycle Analysis of its aircrete products, to understand the carbon emissions associated with their manufacture, transport, function and eventual destruction.
We believe that this full cradle-to-grave analysis is the only way to measure honestly the environmental impact of a product or material. Focusing on one part of this process and ignoring emissions associated with end-of-life, for example, does not give an accurate picture.
Like most manufacturers, our products are part of a supply chain and our own manufacturing operation contributes only a percentage of the embodied carbon associated with our products. We are therefore working closely with the suppliers of our cement and lime materials to understand their declared routes to zero carbon.
In terms of our own manufacturing operation we are planning an ambitious roadmap to reduce our carbon emissions. The majority of these are attributed to our manufacturing plants where a focus on improving the energy efficiency of the equipment and processes, combined with a switch to renewable energy sources, will achieve the carbon-neutral manufacturing goal by 2050.
This is not an overnight process and the sustainability strategy sets out targets along the way, with our short-term target being to reduce energy consumption per M3 by 7% by 2024 compared to a 2019 baseline.
The roadmap builds on the successes already achieved with our Combined Heat and Power systems and the wind turbine which contributes a significant percentage of the energy used by our Pollington plant.
Our LCA also considers the transport associated with the manufacture and distribution of our products. As a UK manufacturer supplying the domestic market our transport emissions are relatively low and we plan the switch all our vehicles to electric or hydrogen fuel over time.
A complete evaluation of the environmental impact of a product will consider not only the emissions associated with the manufacture of a product but also the contribution it makes to energy efficient buildings and its performance over its functional life.
For aircrete the insulation characteristic of the material contributes to the overall energy efficiency of the buildings in use while the recarbonation characteristic of cement-based products allows them to perform as carbon sinks during the lifespan of the building and during their eventual recycling or destruction.
If these positive attributes of aircrete products are added into the evaluation process it is entirely possible that aircrete will in the future be viewed not only as a carbon-neutral product but as a carbon-negative material.