Climate Action



Be net zero before 2050


30% absolute reduction in CO2e emissions by 2030* (from a 2021 base year)

*Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions

Be at the forefront of implementing and trialling low CO2 transport and logistics

Manage climate risk at our sites and use our land assets to deploy nature-based solutions to reduce CO2

Collaborate with policy makers, academia, industry and industrial clusters to develop net zero technologies, solutions and enabling policies

“Generating our own clean power not only reduces our carbon footprint, but also provides long-term energy security for Tarmac operations. We’ve been proactively making significant improvements to our operations and product portfolio for many years – it’s great to be taking another step on our sustainability journey and using home-grown electricity at one of our flagship sites [Birmingham asphalt plant], contributing to the generation of renewable energy.”

Rob Doody, managing director for Tarmac’s central region

The impact of climate change and the transition to a zero-carbon society are arguably the most important challenges for our generation. The construction sector accounts for over 40% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions and has a pivotal role to play. As society embarks on its journey to net zero emissions, we are fully committed to playing our part in delivering carbon neutrality along our value chains to support the UK’s net zero target.


430 solar panels installed
at Birmingham asphalt plant in Washwood Heath

35% reduction in CO2
per tonne of product against a 1990 baseline

Tarmac lime kiln
used in world first net zero hydrogen trial

CRH global carbon reduction targets

Tarmac is a wholly owned subsidiary of CRH plc, a global leader building materials solutions. CRH has set an industry leading absolute emissions reduction target for 2030, aligned with the goals of the Paris Agreement and as part of its ambition to be a net zero business by 2050.

CRH Target: 30% absolute reduction in group wide CO2e emissions by 2030 (from a 2021 base year)

To achieve this target, CRH has developed a decarbonisation roadmap to 2030, an important milestone of our Group’s strategy towards achieving the ambition to be net zero by 2050. The target applies to gross emissions and covers the total footprint across Scope 1, 2 and 3. It is also inclusive of organic business growth.

In early 2023, the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi)[1] validated the CRH revised targets in line with the updated 1.5°C science-based framework which now equate to a 30% reduction in absolute carbon emissions by 2030 (from a 2021 base year)[2].

CRH has also joined the ‘Business Ambition for 1.5°C’ initiative, which aims to achieve net zero global emissions by no later than 2050 to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

CRH Website

1SBTi validated target wording: CRH commits to reduce gross Scope 1 and Scope 2 Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions 33.5% per tonne of cementitious product by 2030 from a 2021 base year*. CRH also commits to reduce absolute gross Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions from other activities 42.0% by 2030 from a 2021 base year*. CRH further commits to reduce gross Scope 3 GHG emissions 23.5% from purchased clinker and cement per tonne purchased over the same timeframe. *The target boundary includes land-related emissions and removals from bioenergy feedstocks.

2CRH is not relying on carbon offsetting to achieve its 2030 emission reduction target and is committed to decarbonising our operations and value chain. We are involved in a number of initiatives with a goal of removing carbon emissions from the atmosphere. In the longer-term, carbon offsets may become more relevant for residual emissions.

Investment in plant and equipment

Our Birmingham asphalt plant in Washwood Heath was opened in 2021 and was built with sustainability in mind. The site’s state-of-the-art facilities have impeccable environmental credentials – from generating its own energy with solar voltaic panels, to removing 20,000 truck journeys a year from the roads, thanks to the fully-automated rail feed. It is now also home to the UK’s first battery electric mixer truck, specially developed with Renault Trucks and TVSI.

The plant is currently using 25-30% recycled asphalt planings (RAP), but has the potential to increase to up to 40% recycled aggregates from road planings with further investment.

In 2022, our Parkstone plant in Dorset benefited from our investment in a new dryer, which is helping the team to work more effectively and efficiently than ever before. The new dryer has led to a 36% reduction of gas consumption per tonne since it was installed. This highlights how Tarmac is committed to continuously improving our processes and striving to be more efficient as well as supporting our Act sustainability strategy.

Over the last year, our Dunbar cement plant in East Lothian has been modernised, incorporating the latest technology to deliver several new benefits. These include the installation of a new state-of-the-art cement mill to help deliver a major improvement in energy efficiency at the plant, and the expansion of its rail operations to support the company’s commitment to transporting as much product as possible on the rail network.

In 2021, Tarmac gained approval for a new chlorine bypass at our Tunstead Cement plant. The chlorine bypass was commissioned in the summer of 2022 and has been operating since then. The bypass successfully passed all environmental testing and will now be able to help the plant reduce the use of fossil fuels by increasing the consumption of waste-derived fuels. With the potential for alternative fuels to make up 70 per cent of fuel sources at the plant, the new system will save an expected 9,000 tonnes of CO2 annually.

Energy efficiency

We believe that improving energy efficiency and optimising plant performance is good practice in reducing CO2. We use our certified ISO 50001 Energy Management System to drive continuous improvement in energy, set specific energy consumption (SEC) and CO2 targets, and to monitor performance at every one of our manufacturing sites. These targets are tightened each year to drive continuous improvement and investment in lower CO2 plant and operations.

Our ISO 50001 system is independently assessed each year to help us ensure that all our operations are compliant with regulatory requirements, such as the UK Government’s Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS).

Sites were encouraged to take part in energy waste walks to evaluate where they could use energy more efficiently and identify any changes they could make. This led to some sites making measurable changes in their energy consumption, such as our Cross Green site near Leeds. The team at Cross Green reduced electricity consumption by 650,000kWh in 2022 by making repairs to equipment, fitting inverters to control motor speed and installing automated controls to switch off equipment when not in use.

We also started new projects such as implementing an artificial intelligence and automation system at our Barrasford Asphalt plant near Hexham. This involved fitting multiple transducers to equipment around the plant which will assist in improving energy efficiency by monitoring and providing operating data on the equipment used. Our Clitheroe site updated their outdoor lighting to solar powered lighting stands with storage, providing a sustainable solution and a saving in energy consumption.

It is great to see our sites taking action and demonstrating how small changes add up to make a big difference for the site and for Tarmac as a whole.

Renewable power

Tarmac has continued to procure 100% of its power supply from renewable energy sources, meaning our electricity comes from UK wind, solar or hydro assets. As a result our scope 2 (purchased electricity) carbon emissions remain zero.

To further this commitment in 2022, Tarmac installed hundreds of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels at our Birmingham Asphalt Plant. Around 430 PV panels were designed and installed on the south-facing roof of the plant, and site offices. Generating up to 194,000 kwh of renewable energy a year, the installation will supply around 10% of the site’s electricity demand.


PV panels were installed at Birmingham Asphalt Plant

Using lower CO2 energy

In 2022, a trial based at our lime site at Tunstead in the Peak District demonstrated the significant potential to use hydrogen as a viable fuel alternative to natural gas for the commercial-scale production of lime. Using hydrogen as a fuel ensures that no CO2 emissions are produced from fuel combustion, just water vapour.

We have also started to roll out recycled hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) to over 20 of our sites. HVO can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 90-96% compared to the diesel that it replaces. These sites are responsible for approximately 25% of our fuel usage, and so this switch will deliver significant carbon savings.

Sites such as Clitheroe and Halecombe made changes to use lower CO2 energy by replacing diesel water pumps with electric. This change means that these pumps now run off 100% renewable energy, as all Tarmac’s electricity is purchased from renewable sources. Wherever it is possible to do so, we aim to implement this at all our quarries in the future.

Business travel

In 2020 Tarmac signed up to the EV100 initiative to commit to the transition of our 2,000-strong fleet of corporate cars and vans to electric vehicles (EV) by 2030. To help with this transition, we have been installing EV charging points at our sites and offices and updated our company car policy to reflect this commitment.

In 2022, electric vehicles made up around 80% of all orders for company cars, this means our fleet will increase to around 20% electric and will continue to rise as we phase out non-electric cars and vans.

Product innovation

At Tarmac, we manufacture a wide range of products that help our customers to reduce whole-life carbon emissions. We want to continue to support our customers with the transition to a sustainable and low-carbon built environment through the products, information and services we provide. We have multiple solutions guides available on our website that detail how our products can help deliver sustainable benefits to customers.

Some of our innovative solutions include:

Warm mix asphalt – for nearly 10 years, Tarmac has been offering warm mix asphalt (WMA) to our customers to enable them to make valuable carbon savings and greater efficiencies in road laying projects. In 2022, we made WMA our default for all delivered surface, base and binder course material.

Biogenic binder – Biogenic binder replaces some of the fossil fuel derived binder with biogenic or plant-based alternatives. In 2022, we trialled the use of a biogenic binder and are aiming to complete further research on this throughout 2023.

Low carbon concrete - Tarmac completed a low carbon concrete trial with Align that gives a 62% reduction in CO2e per cubic metre of concrete, compared to a standard concrete, meeting the same specification. We also completed a trial with Skanska and National Highways, with a concrete that offers more than a 50% reduction on CO2.

ULTIPAVE R - is an asphalt that incorporates recycled rubber from old tyres and uses warm mix asphalt technology to reduce carbon emissions during production. Ultipave R typically reduces emissions by around 8-10% compared to the traditional hot mix equivalent.

Recycled asphalt planings - In this technology, the surface of the road is scraped away to the required depth using a planing machine, which has a rotating drum mounted with steel picks. The planings undergo extensive testing, and material of the right quality is processed into recycled asphalt planings (RAP), which are then used to replace primary materials in new asphalt.

Industry collaboration

To enable us to transition to a net zero society we need to collaborate across governments, industries, and communities to develop sustainable solutions. Tarmac collaborates with a wide range of businesses and organisations to support our transition to net zero. A selection of our collaborations are below:

Peak Cluster
Tarmac is a member of the Peak Cluster, a project announced in May 2023 that aims to prevent over 3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year by 2030. The Peak Cluster has been initiated by five cement and lime plants in the Peak District and Staffordshire Moorlands, owned by Tarmac, Breedon, Lhoist and Aggregate Industries, together with the Lostock Sustainable Energy Plant in Cheshire. Led by Progressive Energy, the project aims to capture and transport CO2 emissions from industrial plants in Derbyshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire before permanently locking away the carbon dioxide beneath the East Irish Sea.

Tarmac also continues to be an active member of the South Wales Industrial Cluster (SWIC) and the Scottish Industrial Cluster (NECCUS) to collaborate and decarbonise the industry.

Calcined Clay
Tarmac has been collaborating with the Mineral Products Association (MPA), Hanson Cement, Imerys Aluminates, Forterra Building Products, University College London and the University of Dundee, to investigate the potential of UK-sourced calcined clays in new cements. This innovation could see a 20-40% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to CEM 1 (the market leader).

‘Cement 2 Zero’
Tarmac is participating in a ground-breaking project to develop the world’s first zero emission cement on an industrial scale. Led by the Materials Processing Institute (MPI), the ‘Cement 2 Zero’ government-funded project will see us collaborate with University of Cambridge researchers and other businesses to eliminate carbon emissions associated with the manufacture of clinker in cement kilns, and in turn create cement clinker using Electric Arc Furnaces (EAF).

Reducing our carbon footprint

At the end of 2022, we had achieved a 35% reduction in CO2 per tonne of product, compared to a 1990 baseline. We categorise our greenhouse gas emissions into direct and indirect sources in line with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol.

What we mean by CO2e?

Carbon dioxide is one of six greenhouse gases that are emitted when humans undertake certain activities. Other greenhouse gases include methane, nitrous oxide and ozone – all of which occur naturally in our atmosphere. To take into account the emission of other greenhouse gases when calculating the level of greenhouse gas emissions, scientists have devised an equivalent measure – CO2e (which literally means carbon dioxide equivalent). CO2e allows other greenhouse gas emissions to be expressed in terms of CO2 based on their relative global warming potential (GWP).

Tarmac: CO2 emissions by scope

Scope 1 | 72.78%
Scope 2 | 0%
Scope 3 | 27.21%
1000s tCO2e

Scope 1



Scope 2*


Scope 3

*This includes mainly electric vehicle company car charging 

** On a location basis our scope 2 emissions are 40,489 tCO2e 

Tarmac: direct and indirect CO2 emissions

Process emissions | 58.49%
Coal | 16.22%
Electricity | 0.00%
WDF | 5.21%
Natural gas | 8.83%
Gas oil | 6.17%
Petcoke | 1.11%
Processed fuel oil | 0.74%
Kerosene | 0.38%
Marine diesel | 0.87%
LPG | 1.98%
HVO | 0.00%

Process emissions



Natural gas
Gas oil
Processed fuel oil
Marine diesel

WDF = Waste Derived Fuels
LPG = Liquid Petroleum Gas
HVO = Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil

*This includes mainly electric vehicle company car charging 

** On a location basis our scope 2 emissions are 40,489 tCO2e 

Tarmac: energy use by source (GJ)

Coal | 23.64%
Electricity | 12.18%
WDF | 10.21%
Natural gas | 26.04%
Gas oil | 13.82%
Petcoke | 3.25%
Processed fuel oil | 1.86%
Kerosene | 1.14%
Marine diesel | 1.90%
LPG | 5.96%
HVO | 0.01%

Natural gas
Gas oil
Processed fuel oil
Marine diesel

WDF = Waste Derived Fuels
LPG = Liquid Petroleum Gas
HVO = Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil

Looking forward

In 2023, we will continue to work towards a net zero society. We will launch Tarmac’s ‘Roadmap to net zero’, which details the levers we will use to achieve net zero by 2050, and assist our stakeholders to understand the ways in which Tarmac will reach this goal. We are also looking forward to building on the progress we made in 2022 through collaboration and taking part in new trials and projects to help us further reach our goals. This includes our partnership with Leilac, where we plan to deliver the world’s first zero emissions lime plant.