Be net zero before 2050
Cut CO2 by 45% per tonne of product by 2030 (from 1990) *
*Scope 1 and 2 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
“The transition to a net zero society is one of the most important challenges for our generation and is a key focus of our work at Tarmac. As an industry we can work together to reduce our carbon emissions through the use of new and improved strategies, processes and materials that will drive us all forward towards the target of net zero.”
Emma Hines, Senior Manager, Sustainable Construction
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.
Tarmac is a wholly owned subsidiary of CRH plc, a global leader in sustainable building materials and solutions. CRH has set a group level absolute emissions reduction target for 2030, which complements its 2050 carbon neutrality ambition.
CRH ambition: To address climate change as we strive for carbon neutrality along the cement and concrete value chain by 2050
25% absolute reduction in Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 2030 (on a 2020 baseline)
33% CO2 reduction to 520kg net CO2 / tonne cementitious product by 2025 (compared with 1990 levels)
CRH has had its emissions reduction target independently validated by the Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi) as consistent with the levels required to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. Tarmac’s carbon reduction targets are fully aligned with this.
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 in order to limit global warming to 1.5°C.
To achieve its ambition of carbon neutrality, CRH is embracing multiple breakthrough technologies, as well as ongoing continuous improvements across its operations. Carbon capture, decarbonation, use of concrete as a carbon sink and identifying new sources of alternative fuels and materials continue to be priorities in its innovation programme. Through these and other innovations, CRH is working to shape a more sustainable built environment.
Investment in plant and equipment
In 2021, works to install a new chlorine bypass at Tunstead Cement commenced. The new system will enable Tunstead Cement to reduce the use of fossil fuels by up to 70%, by increasing the consumption of waste derived fuels and is set to be completed in 2022.
Tarmac signed a long-term agreement with Forth Ports to create the UK’s largest construction materials terminal at Tilbury2. The 25-year partnership with the Port of Tilbury, London’s fastest-growing port, will see us build the UK’s largest construction materials terminal. The terminal will support our sustainability commitment to reducing emissions and creating a safer environment for other road users, by using rail to deliver construction materials into Central London.
We estimate that around 66% of the energy used by Tarmac is attributed to the use of motors, and in 2021 we started a project to switch all new motor requirements over to new IE4 style high efficiency motors. Switching to the new IE4 motors has the potential to increase efficiency by 7.5%, in turn saving up to 1,871 tonnes of carbon per year.
Tarmac continues to evaluate all opportunities to reduce energy use and carbon emissions – the early stages of a review have found that using eco-electric pumps on mains electricity delivers a number of benefits versus diesel pumps – including reduction of:
- Safety and environmental risks as fuel filling no longer required
- Carbon emissions
- Operating costs by using this new efficient electric technology
Improving transport efficiency
Tarmac reached a major milestone in 2021 in our commitment to improving the emission standards across our fleet of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), as the 1750th HGV in our fleet became compliant with Euro 6 emissions standards. This means that over 90% of our vehicles are now fully in line with the benchmark environmental regulations.
of our HGV fleet is Euro 6 Compliant
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 helps us ensure that all our operations are compliant with regulatory requirements, such as the UK Government’s Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS).
By the end of 2021, 100% of Tarmacs power supply was procured from renewable energy sources. Tarmac has secured supply of its power from nominated wind farms which is backed by Guarantee of Origin Certificates. Our supplier is backed by one of the largest wind and solar generators on the globe. As a result, Tarmac’s scope 2 (purchased electricity) carbon emissions are zero.
of our power procured from renewable energy sources by the end of 2021
Using lower CO2 energy
At our asphalt plant in Snodland, Kent, we replaced the existing diesel fuel system with a far more efficient LPG system, to power the system for drying and heating the aggregates. This change will deliver a 25% reduction in operational carbon emissions.
Tarmac and our rail freight partner DB Cargo UK announced that the delivery of construction materials on a key strategic route will be powered by 100% renewable fuel. Environmentally friendly hydro-treated vegetable oil (HVO) will be fuelling all freight trains running between Tarmac’s Mountsorrel site in Leicestershire and its rail-fed asphalt plant in the centre of Birmingham, as part of an ongoing commitment to supporting the sustainable delivery of the UK’s infrastructure ambitions.
Together with partners Furrer+Frey and GB Railfreight, Tarmac is spearheading an innovative overhead electrification system for UK freight terminals, which currently rely on diesel. The project started in July 2021 and the innovative system is being trialled at Tarmac’s aggregate facility in Wellingborough, in partnership with GB Railfreight.
Energy and greenhouse gas policy
In 2021, Tarmac introduced a new energy and greenhouse gas policy. The policy confirms Tarmac’s approach to improving energy efficiency performance, reducing our carbon footprint and supporting customers with innovative and sustainable products to contribute to a low carbon-built environment. This policy is communicated to all Tarmac employees and those working on our behalf.
To further support Tarmac’s EV100 commitment to transition its entire car and van fleet to BEV by 2030 we have started installing electric vehicle (EV) charge points at a number of our key locations across the UK. Our HQ in Solihull and Mountsorrel Quarry are completed with more sites to follow.
Policy changes have been made to promote EVs with enhanced terms and continuation of a whole life cost model that supports the adoption of EV without additional cost to Tarmac.
This year Tarmac also partnered with Birmingham City Council to trial our first suite of electric vehicles. The EVs will be used to maintain the A34 Perry Barr Junction improvement scheme.
At Tarmac, we provide a wide range of products that help our customers save carbon now and during the lifetime of their project. We want to continue to support our customers with the transition to a sustainable and low carbon built environment. We manufacture a wide range of products that help our customers to reduce whole life carbon emissions. We also 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:
- ULTI LAYER SAMI – this is a fully recyclable solution used to prevent cracking on concrete-based roads. It is a Stress Absorbing Membrane Interlayer, that is proven to resist stress and offer long term protection.
- Styrelf Long Life – A new bitumen that acts like an anti-ageing cream for roads as it is designed to be more resistant to the elements by oxidising more slowly. This makes roads more durable and so significantly reduces the CO2 emissions from the materials and construction processes for maintenance and replacement, as well as the resulting traffic disruption.
- AgeSafe Bitumen – a new bitumen specially designed to resist aging to oxidation, making roads more durable and in need of less repairs, providing environmental benefits from reducing CO2 emissions from maintenance and replacement.
- Toptint Glow – a glow in the dark paving system that absorbs ultra violet light in the day and radiates a soft light at night. This uses recycled composite luminescent chippings to illuminate dimly lit areas without installing additional lighting, delivering energy and carbon savings.
- Rubber modified asphalt – Tarmac sustainable asphalt manufactured from waste tyres, saving thousands of tyres from going to waste every year. This asphalt is also used with ULTILOW warm-mix binder technology which reduces its embodied carbon.
Guide to Sustainable Road Building
Amid a climate emergency and rising commitments to net zero targets within construction and infrastructure settings, there is a pressing need for more sustainable approaches to road development and highways maintenance.
Delivering technological solutions and innovation which prioritise sustainability – from using lower carbon materials to incorporating recycled content – are key to the Tarmac approach. With this in mind, we are proud to launch a new online framework designed to support those involved in specifying and maintaining the UK’s crucial network of roads and highways:
To enable us to be able to transition to a net zero society we need to collaborate across governments, industries and society to develop sustainable solutions. Tarmac collaborates with a wide range of businesses and organisations to support our transition to a net zero society. A selection of our collaborations are below:
Collaborating to innovate
At Tarmac, we make an important contribution to a better built environment through the provision of systems, solutions, and guidance for the materials we provide. In 2021, we hosted an online event sponsored by Total Energies, Agg- Net and the Chartered Institute of Highways & Transportation. The event was available to all to provide an opportunity to discuss the UK road network, understand Tarmac’s view on the transition to net zero and debate the practical steps the government and industry must take to deliver net zero by 2050.
UK Cement and Concrete Beyond Net Zero Roadmap
We have worked with the Mineral Products Association (MPA) to develop a cement industry roadmap to demonstrate not only how we can achieve net zero by 2050, but also how we can go beyond net zero, removing more CO2 from the atmosphere than we emit.
Some of the key levers for this decarbonisation journey include innovative low carbon cement solutions, using renewable energy sources and investment in lower CO2 fuels. This model is achieved without relying on carbon offsetting or offshoring emissions but through using of a range of deployable technologies.
UK cement and concrete Beyond Net Zero Roadmap
Industrial decarbonisation clusters
South Wales Industrial Cluster (SWIC)
Tarmac is a part of the South Wales Industrial Cluster. This is a partnership between industrial companies, infrastructure suppliers, energy providers, academics and other experts from the Pembrokeshire Coast to the Severn Bridge, along the M4 corridor. All businesses in this cluster are committed to creating a net zero circular economy in Wales, through innovation, energy efficiency, CO2 reductions and Carbon Capture Usage and Storage (CCUS). In 2021, they were awarded £1.5 million from the UK Research and Innovations (UKRI) Industrial Decarbonisation programme.
Scottish Industrial Cluster (NECCUS)
We are also a member of the Scottish industrial cluster NECCUS, an alliance to support solutions to decarbonise industry. Scotland has committed to being net zero by 2045, five years ahead of the rest of the UK so NECCUS aims to collaborate on the delivery of net zero and promote the development of low carbon solutions in Scotland.
Reducing our carbon footprint
At the end of 2021, we had achieved a 37% reduction in CO2 per tonne. 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).
So, when you see a carbon footprint expressed in terms of CO2e, you can know for sure that all greenhouse gases have been included for each activity under scope, and therefore a fuller picture of an organisation's impact has been captured.
Tarmac: CO2 emissions by scope
Tarmac: direct and indirect CO2 emissions
*As of the end of 2021 all of our sites have been converted to renewable energy sources
** This includes electric vehicle company car charging and a small number of sites that transitioned to renewable energy in 2021
WDF = Waste Derived Fuels
LPG = Liquid Petroleum Gas
HVO = Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil
Tarmac: energy use by source (GJ)
WDF = Waste Derived Fuels
LPG = Liquid Petroleum Gas
HVO = Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil
Going into 2022, we will continue to help deliver a transition to a net zero society. We will work on our net zero roadmaps and action plans to support our business being net zero by 2050. As part of this we will be making a significant shift towards all new fleet vehicles being electric, to further support our EV100 commitment. Tarmac will continue trialing alternative lower carbon fuels for both road and rail to help us reduce our carbon footprint across the business. To increase the supply security of our energy we will also be working on securing behind the meter zero carbon power.