Kingspan has just launched a major 10-year strategy to play its part in reducing the world’s carbon emissions by 45% by 2030, as determined in the Paris Agreement, and contribute towards the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals under discussion this week at the UN Climate Change Conference in Madrid.
In recognition of its continued sustainability commitments, Kingspan has also today announced membership of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Circular Economy 100 (CE100), the world’s leading circular economy network.
The construction industry is one of the biggest contributors to carbon and greenhouse gas emissions, with construction and buildings combined currently accounting for 39% of all carbon emissions globally.[i] The World Green Building Council estimates that embodied carbon – carbon used in the manufacturing, construction and disposal of building materials – will be responsible for half of the entire carbon footprint of new construction between now and 2050. The construction industry is also responsible for an estimated 30% of all waste to landfill globally.
Kingspan’s Planet Passionate targets are designed to contribute to the world’s renewable energy mix, reduce carbon emissions, divert waste from landfill, conserve water, provide upcycling solutions for plastic waste and help clean the world’s oceans and protect biodiversity.
The Planet Passionate strategy is made up of 12 ambitious targets, addressing the impact of Kingspan’s business operations and manufacturing on the four key areas of energy, carbon, circularity and water, with commitments by 2030 to include:
- Energy: powering 60% of all Kingspan operations directly from renewable energy with a minimum of 20% of this energy generated on manufacturing sites (up from 5.9% today)
- Carbon: achieving net zero carbon manufacturing and a 50% reduction in product C02 intensity from primary supply partners
- Circularity: upcycling of 1 billion PET bottles per annum into insulation products plus zero company waste to landfill across all sites
- Water: harvesting 100 million litres of Kingspan’s water usage from rainwater
Gene Murtagh, CEO of Kingspan says, “Climate change is the single most important issue facing the world today and our most urgent priority. At Kingspan, we are committed to driving a more sustainable approach to our business in response to these issues. Energy conservation has always been at the core of our products, and how we run our business. Through Planet Passionate we will reduce carbon and energy in both our manufacturing processes and products, and continue our relentless pursuit of low-carbon buildings that deliver more performance and value, with clear targets to strive for by 2030.”
Combined with the research activities at IKON – Kingspan’s new global innovation centre, the Planet Passionate programme will ensure its products enable a pathway to net zero carbon buildings that contribute to a safer, healthier and more circular world.
Bianca Wong, Global Head of Sustainability at Kingspan, commented: “To protect our planet, carbon emissions need to fall by 45% by 2030, and to net zero by 2050 – but we’re currently on course to miss this goal by at least five-fold. At Kingspan we recognise the need for all businesses to take urgent action. We also know that more sustainable building products, combined with high-performance building envelope design, have the potential to save enormous amounts of energy and carbon. By working in partnership with the industry and striving to be Planet Passionate in everything we do, we are confident we can achieve the goals we have set our business and enable ourselves and our customers to contribute to the global fight against climate change.”
Joe Murphy, CE100 Lead for the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, commented: “We are delighted to welcome Kingspan Group to the CE100 – the world’s leading circular economy network. The CE100 brings together leaders and innovators from around the world to unlock new opportunities for growth. It is collaboration among our diverse and dynamic community that enables members to move faster and with greater success. Kingspan bring unique expertise and specific capabilities to the network’s strong built environment sector.”
Planet Passionate will not only impact on the environmental footprint of Kingspan’s business, but also aims to enhance the environmental performance of its products by reducing embodied carbon and enhancing circularity, making the buildings where they are used more sustainable too.
In 2011, Kingspan announced a Net Zero Energy programme with a 2020 target to match 100% of its operational energy use with renewable energy. The company is on track to achieve this goal. As part of this programme, Kingspan also joined the Science Based Targets initiative, setting a target of 10% reduction in Scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas emissions. This was a significant first step on Kingspan’s journey towards reducing its carbon footprint, and Planet Passionate is the next horizon.
Kingspan upcycled 256 million PET bottles into its insulation in 2018 and earlier this year committed to a target of upcycling one billion PET plastic bottles per annum by 2025. In addition, Kingspan agreed a three-year partnership with the EcoAlf Foundation to support and expand their project which removes 150 tonnes of plastic waste from the Mediterranean each year, about 10% of which is PET. Ocean PET recovered from the EcoAlf project is added to the upcycled PET bottles and used to make Kingspan’s insulation. Kingspan now plans to support four further ocean clean-up projects by 2025 through Planet Passionate.