Environmental considerations are no longer an afterthought when it comes to a roof’s installation. With the government pledging to bring UK greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050, it’s with good reason that enlightened roofing companies are upping their game sustainability-wise. Taking the green credentials of materials and installation processes into consideration makes for a ‘cleaner’ installation, as does education. Janice Tyler, Environmental and Supply Chain Manager at BriggsAmasco, highlights the training initiatives introduced by the roofing company in order to establish a sustainable mind-set among employees.
Each year, poor design and site management leads to approximately 13% of all solid materials delivered to sites – an estimated 10 million tonnes – being unused. Inadequate storage and protection often leads to production-related wastage on construction sites, but lack of training in sustainable building practice is another crucial factor. It’s an issue that needs addressing to help eliminate waste and sending to landfill sites.
At BriggsAmasco, it is our policy to ensure each roofing project is as notable for its environmentally-responsible detail, as it is for the quality of the installation. Educating our employees in the whys and wherefores of sustainable working is a vital first step to reducing the company’s carbon footprint across all of its activities. We believe that being sustainable means embracing the three pillars of sustainability: social, environmental and economic. By integrating this culture into our daily business, we fulfil the needs of clients, suppliers, the community and employees. Having been in business since 1865, establishing BriggsAmasco as one of the UK’s leading roofing companies, we feel that adopting a sustainable practice keeps us in the real world and maintains the business’s viability.
Promotion of our sustainability culture begins at our two-day new starter induction each month. As well as covering crucial aspects such as health and safety, it provides an interactive and realistic introduction to sustainability issues. The first task is for each individual to calculate their own ecological footprint – this helps to focus on why sustainability is important – followed by what constitutes a sustainable company, and specifics such as legal requirements, waste management, timber, spillages, aspect/impact assessments. The focus of the induction is tailored to attendees’ particular needs. The impetus of this initial awareness is maintained with sustainability information and updates being regularly circulated, via bulletins, throughout the company.
In regards to sustainable roof materials used by BriggsAmasco, hot-melt scores highly. The system can be reheated, which means there is no waste and no packaging to dispose of. It also makes for an ideal green roof specification. It’s very durable and extremely resistant to impact, giving it a long life expectancy. It means it doesn’t need to be renewed as quickly as other roof types. The IKO roof system contains an impressive amount of recycled content (45%).
Another sustainable innovation in this sphere is the use of electric mixers, rather than using LPG to heat the melters. This method not only saves crane hook time, it reduces CO2 emissions by about 65%.
Mastic asphalt is another roofing material with environmental benefits and is carbon-zero. BriggsAmasco has a finisher machine that allows the asphalt to be laid to a precision thickness at much lower temperatures than traditional laying. Therefore, instead of applying a heating temperature of 210°C to employ it, it is operable at 160°C degrees.
Initiatives such as the mastic asphalt finisher, coupled with in-house training given to staff in order to raise their sustainable awareness, have contributed to BriggsAmasco’s environmental performance. In order to measure our performance, the company sets a number of sustainable key performance indicators which are assessed and amended as needed, in line with our continuous improvement philosophy.
One of these is CO2e emissions and having achieved our initial target of reducing these over three years (2014-2017), we set a new baseline using 2017 results and a new target of an average 5% reduction over the next three years which takes us up to the end of 2020. This new average target takes into account variances that can occur yearly depending on location of works and incorporates company cars, PCP cars and commercial vehicles.
Another KPI is our gas and electricity usage. We achieved our initial target of a 5% reduction and are on our way to meeting our new target of a 5% reduction by the end of 2020.
In terms of waste, we divert approximately 92% of our waste away from landfill into either recycle or recovery sites. We also measure our waste arisings, and waste to landfill generated per £100k of construction output (turnover). The 2018 figures set our baseline for this. A DEFRA report, ‘UK Statistics for Waste’, showed that the construction and demolition industry’s average recovery for non-hazardous waste is 89.9%; far above the government target for 70% by 2020.
Working sustainably and sourcing renewable materials is de rigueur for many construction-based companies. But the commitment to ‘cleaner’ working must prevail in order to sustain environmental progress. BriggsAmasco has been a gold member of the Supply Chain Sustainability School since its inception in 2012. The school is a collaboration between clients, contractors and first-tier suppliers to help build, maintain and operate more sustainable buildings, infrastructure and homes. The scheme not only requires regular assessment and action plans, it involves interaction with the school. BriggsAmasco attends various workshops and supplier days; have a case study and video interview on the website, and attends personal invitation workshops – including identifying school values and its future development.
Programmes such as this prove its participants are paying more than lip service to bolster their green credentials. It’s my opinion that the construction industry should focus on setting sustainable standards for other sectors to follow. Together, we can build this.