New initiatives are helping us reach our target
of sending zero waste to landfill by 2025.
In our Sustainability Roadmap, we set a target of sending zero waste to landfill by 2025, and new initiatives are helping us achieve this.
One such programme has seen us working in partnership with our transport partner Wincanton. By replacing the 10 litre plastic tubs of AdBlue fuel additive at two of our busiest sites with large tanks, it eliminated 4,828 single-use plastic containers from our waste stream – the equivalent of 2.2 tonnes of plastic.
We also implemented a pallet recovery scheme across the business removing more than 20,000 wooden pallets from landfill. As a result, we have made significant progress by recycling 54% of our general waste – equating to 0.001 tonnes of waste to landfill per tonne of production.
By sourcing 95% of our materials from the UK we can reduce our carbon emissions
– on average our products only travel a total of 82 miles.
By sourcing 95% of our materials from the UK we can reduce our carbon emissions, as on average our products only travel a total of 82 miles.
We’re able to source 95% of our raw materials from the UK thanks to our network of quarries that provide us with the resources needed to manufacture our products. Whilst many are located next to our factories, they are never more than 15 miles away.
The strategic location of our manufacturing sites also enables us to minimise the distances our products travel. On average, our products travel only 82 miles reducing traffic congestion, vehicle emissions and fuel usage.
Yet, the benefit of local sourcing extends further than benefiting the environment. Local planning requirements can be stringent. The pursuit of materials that blend with the local vernacular is now the ‘norm’. As a result, there has been a wide-scale interest at a very localised, community level regarding the specification of construction materials. Local sourcing also benefits the economy providing employment for local people.
Operational efficiencies at Laybrook lead to huge water savings
Investment into our Laybrook site has resulted
in a 50% reduction in mains water use.
Closing the loop on waste water
New initiatives are helping us achieve our target of reducing mains water use by
5% per tonne of production by 2025; 74% of the water we use comes from recycled
and recovered sources, with several factories operating a closed loop system.
Water efficiency measures are a key focus across our operating sites to help us meet our Sustainability Roadmap target of a 5% reduction in mains water use per tonne of production by 2025. As a result of the new initiatives we’ve introduced, 74% of the water we use now comes from a recycled and recovered source whilst several of our factories now operate a closed loop system.
After a two-year transformational journey, our Supreme Concrete plant at Sittingbourne is a great example of what we can achieve. By reusing wastewater within the manufacturing process we’ve reduced our mains water consumption by 50% at this site.
We achieved this by rebuilding the reclaim system. After products are cut the dust is washed down with water, creating a slurry paste. Previously, this slurry was taken off site by tanker and sent to landfill. But now we can process it on site. The system separates liquid and solid matter, with the latter sent to a filter press where it becomes a ‘mat’ of concrete and is returned to the site’s stock of recycled materials. The water is then reused in the site’s mixer, reducing our need to take water from the mains supply.
We have a history of investing in our production facilities to make them more sustainable and efficient. The upgrade of production facilities at our Laybrook brick factory highlights we are working our Sustainability Roadmap target of reducing mains water use by 5% per tonne of production by 2025.
The main objective at the site was to increase brick production capacity by removing bottlenecks in the clay preparation area. We invested in a number of upgrades, specifically a replacement of the kiln hydro case seal with a conventional sand seal to eliminate issues associated with the hydro case seal arrangement. This means the factory can operate consistently at its full operating capacity whilst reducing water use by 50%.
Switching to renewables
Marking a milestone in our sustainability journey, we’re the first building
products manufacturer in the UK to procure 100% of our electricity from renewable sources.
Generating our own renewable power on site
As we work to de-carbonise our production process,
our brick factories at our Leicestershire headquarters
are the first to be part-powered by a large-scale solar farm.
The world’s first Net Zero brick factory
A combination of reduced process emissions and greater thermal efficiency
will cut the carbon intensity of bricks produced at the Atlas site by 50%.
Marking a milestone in our sustainability journey, we’re the first building products manufacturer in the UK to procure 100% of our electricity from renewable sources.
Becoming the first building products manufacturer in the UK to procure 100% of our electricity from renewable sources was a major landmark on our sustainability journey.
Our switch to Total Gas & Power’s Pure Green energy tariff is the latest in a series of decarbonisation projects we have invested in. It’s a significant step in helping us reach our Sustainability Roadmap target of a 15% reduction in CO2 per tonne of production by 2025.
“We take our goals and ambitions on sustainability extremely seriously and procuring all of our electrical power from renewable sources is further evidence of that. We are a market leader in an energy intensive sector, and we believe it is vital that we demonstrate that leadership in terms of reducing carbon emissions and supporting the market for renewable energy. As the first UK building products manufacturer to make a move to 100% renewable electricity, we believe we have set an example to others in our sector; we hope our peers are quick to follow suit. Many of our customers have made commitments to achieving net zero emissions and our move to Pure Green shows them that we are with them on that journey.”
Joe Hudson, Chief Executive Officer
As we work to de-carbonise our production process, our brick factories at our Leicestershire headquarters are the first to be part-powered by a large-scale solar farm.
As we look to reduce our carbon footprint and reliance on the national grid, we’re committed to using renewable energy. Our brick factories at our Leicestershire headquarters are the first to be part-powered by a large-scale solar farm.
Developed in partnership with Lightsource bp, the 4.9MWp solar farm allows renewable electricity to be hard-wired into our private electricity network. It provides between 20 and 30% of the site’s normal electricity demand, with any surplus energy sold into the grid.
Our solar farm helps us achieve operational savings as well as delivering sustainable benefits, and we’re looking at how we can develop solar solutions across our other manufacturing sites.
“We decided a few years ago to stop talking and start doing something about our carbon footprint as we expand. We don’t want to put in factories that our children will later regret.”
Tony Fullagar, land resources manager, Ibstock Brick
A combination of reduced process emissions and greater thermal efficiency will cut the carbon intensity of bricks produced at the Atlas site by 50%.
On World Earth Day we announced a pathfinder project to test and pilot operational efficiencies at our Atlas factory in the West Midlands, which we believe will become the world’s only Scope 1 & 2 Net Zero brick factory.
Our Net Zero aims will primarily be achieved through a rapid reduction in carbon emissions from the production process through significantly improved operational efficiency, on-site renewable electricity generation and renewable energy procurement. The remaining emissions will be offset using high quality emission reduction projects. This investment will build our understanding of the scenarios and decisions we need to make as a business to inform our pathway to net zero.
In 2019, we established the Ibstock Sustainability Board to drive sustainability performance across the group and report on progress against out Sustainability Roadmap to 2025. Understanding that a culture of collaboration will help accelerate our progress.
The board is chaired by our Non-Executive Director Claire Hawkings, with Isabel McAllister, Responsible Business Director at Mace, acting as our external representative. With over 20 years’ of experience, Isabel has a passion for driving value to society through the industry, and brings invaluable knowledge and expertise from her experience and roles outside of Ibstock into our business. Isabel leads the Responsible Business portfolio at Mace which includes leadership and delivery of the Responsible Business strategy and Net Zero Carbon strategy and working with Mace clients and partners to help shape and deliver their own programmes of work.
“The construction products sector needs transformation; and Ibstock’s genuine commitment to be a part of this process is impressive. Its ambition to reduce carbon emissions and create sustainable spaces that are fit for the future fully aligns with Mace’s own responsible business goals including our 2020 net zero carbon commitment. I’m excited to be involved and I will both challenge Ibstock and support the business to achieve more.”
Collaboration is key as we work towards our carbon reduction targets. To ensure we achieve our sustainability goals, as well as contribute to those of the wider built environment, we’ve been members of the Supply Chain Sustainability School since 2012. This initiative represents a common approach to addressing sustainability within our supply chains.
The Supply Chain Sustainability School’s survey also helps us keep track of our annual improvements. In 2020 we improved our mark from 3.8 to 4.1, a score that is well above the average for the building materials sector. Many of our customers are also members of the Supply Chain Sustainability School and being part of this organisation shows that we are on a sustainability journey with them.
Collaboration with other industry leaders
will help accelerate our pathway to net-zero.
Supply Chain Sustainability School
Recognising the importance of industry collaboration, being part of the
Supply Chain Sustainability School highlights our continuous improvement
and shows supply chain that we are sharing their journey to net-zero.
The launch of Nexus XI demonstrates our commitment
to delivering innovative products which meet our customer’s needs.
Our market leading Gemini roof tile is a prime example of sustainable product innovation.
Product innovation is a crucial part of our growth plans and we are committed to the continuous development of our product portfolio as we seek to underpin our market leadership.
Recent investments in our production capabilities and focus on innovation have enabled us to enhance our product range with a number of initiatives, notably the launch of Nexus XI – a new brick-faced soffit and lintel system.
Nexus XI was developed in response to amendments to Building Regulations Approved Document B: Fire Safety 2019 which now requires all materials used in residential buildings above 18 metres (or 11 metres in Scotland) to be of limited combustibility. Our technical and design teams worked closely with the British Board of Agrèment (BBA) and National House Building Council (NHBC) to conduct the relevant testing, and we were able to take Nexus XI from first concept to BBA approval – achieving an ‘A’ Fire Rating – in only seven months.
Alongside its key safety credentials, Nexus XI offers number of other primary benefits, including:
This success has built a strong foundation for future new products and systems. Our new product development plans will ensure our range of building solutions continues to grow in the years to come as we focus on achieving our goal of 20% of revenues to be generated from new and sustainable products by 2025. See more at on Nexus XI here.
More than ever, our customers are looking for products which offer great functionality combined with robust sustainability credentials. Product innovation is a key focus of our Sustainability Roadmap, setting a target for 20% of our sales to come from new and sustainable products by 2025.
To reduce the embodied carbon of our products, we have been exploring new methods of manufacturing traditional products within our Concrete division, by introducing low carbon cements and low carbon concrete mix designs. For example, in partnership with Lafarge Cement, we introduced SustainaCem into our market leading Gemini roof tile. The result is a product which offers equal strength and durability with a 15% lower carbon cement.
Such a move also helps us make our own contribution to the concrete products sectors net zero goals.
By sourcing 95% of our raw materials from the UK, we’re reducing our
environmental impact and delivering benefits to the local economy.
By sourcing 95% of our raw materials from the UK, we’re reducing our environmental impact and delivering benefits to the local economy.
We are proud that over 95% of our raw materials are sourced in the UK. Our network of quarries provides our factories with the resources needed to manufacture our products. Whilst many are located next to our factories – such as Eclipse in Leicestershire and Cattybrook on the outskirts of Bristol – but they’re never more than 15 miles away. Our materials also come from approved and trusted partners and we work with them to ensure we’re using the most efficient raw material geography and innovation available.
By making the most out of local resources, we’re minimising our reliance on imports and the international supply chain. In doing so we’re supporting the British economy and reducing our carbon footprint.
Reducing Plastic Wrap
New initiatives are helping us reach our target of reducing
preventable plastic packaging by 40% by 2025.
New initiatives are helping us reach our target of reducing preventable plastic packaging by 40% by 2025.
We are taking a fresh look at minimising the use of plastic packaging, setting ourselves a target to reduce preventable plastic packaging by 40% by 2025.
As well as working collaboratively with the Brick Development Association’s Single Use Plastic Working Group, we have set up a new Plastic Taskforce. They have overseen the introduction of our shrink wrap reduction programme across our factories. The initiative reduced the thickness of shrink wrap by up to 30%, without compromising on integrity, significantly reducing our plastic consumption.
We are also working closely with our suppliers on common challenges and priorities. The reduction in use of virgin plastics is one great example, with all our plastic edge strips now made from 100% recycled material.
Leader in resource efficiency
In an energy-intensive industry we believe it is it’s vital
we use and manage resources efficiently. The steps we have taken
mean we are a market leader in responsible manufacturing.
Moving to Net Zero Carbon
It is our intention to invest in pathfinder project at our Atlas factory which we believe
will become the world’s only Scope 1 & 2 Net Zero brick factory.
With a history dating back to 1865, our Swanage factory encapsulates the true
heritage of brick making and continues to meet demand for handmade bricks.
Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do. As market leader in an energy intensive sector, we are determined to lead from the front in terms of responsible manufacturing.
Our Eclipse brick factory is a genuine trailblazer. Opened in 2018 by the Secretary of State for Communities and Housing, it’s one of the most efficient brickworks of its kind, representing the culmination of our achievements in efficient manufacturing. Every process and aspect of Eclipse takes our manufacturing efficiency to a new level delivering optimum sustainability and reducing our environmental impact.
Our investment at Eclipse has acted as catalyst for other energy efficiency initiatives across the business. It enabled us to test new ideas and technologies – and share and implement this across the other 40 manufacturing plants across our Group.
As we work towards our long-term goal of decarbonising the production process, ours are the first brick factories in the UK to be part-powered by a large-scale solar farm. But perhaps the most significant step was becoming the first building products manufacturer in the UK to procure 100% of its electricity from renewable sources, aligning us with our Sustainability Roadmap target of reducing CO2 per tonne of production by 15% by 2025.
Investments in production capacity at our Throckley, Chesteron, Eclipse and Lodge Lane plants have all contributed to reducing the carbon intensity of our manufacturing processes. However, we can do more, and we can go further. We recently confirmed plans to invest in a pathfinder project at Ibstock Brick’s Atlas factory in the West Midlands, marking an important step in pushing our business beyond our Sustainability Roadmap.
The project will test and pilot operational efficiencies, which we believe, will lead to Atlas becoming the world’s only Scope 1 & 2 Net Zero brick factory. Our Net Zero aims will primarily be achieved through a rapid reduction in carbon emissions from the production process through significantly improved thermal efficiency, on-site renewable electricity generation and renewable energy procurement. Once completed, Atlas will be an exemplar in terms of operational and environmental performance.
One of the few true handmade brickworks, our Swanage Factory has more than 150 years of experience handed down throughout the generations, producing bricks with personality and integrity. This inspiring factory with skilled, time served brickmakers produces handmade traditional and bespoke stock bricks which create award winning buildings, both traditional and contemporary.
Located close to the Jurassic coast it with a rich, varied geology, Swanage’s true expertise lies in its ability to create purpose-made blends of bricks. Whether it’s to match brickwork on an existing building or to develop a unique blend for a special project, Swanage can provide the solution.
Hand thrown into traditional sanded moulds, each brick takes on the characteristics of its maker. This process not only defines the personality of each brick, but the personality of each building it adorns.
Our Shelter Partnership
We’re committed to supporting the most vulnerable people in society.
We’ve joined forces with our charity partner Shelter, raising more than £100,000
to support their work, exceeding the fundraising target we set ourselves.
To grow the business, our challenge is to build on our skills base for the future.
By partnering with initiatives such as Well North Enterprises Science Summer School
we can showcase the exciting careers in Science, Technology,
Engineering and Maths (STEM) industries such as ours.
We’re proud to have been working with our charity partner Shelter since 2018. Our goal is to raise vital funds to support people who are experiencing homelessness and bad housing.
We set ourselves a target of raising £50,000 through our fundraising activities. By July 2020 we had beaten this, reaching £70,000 in the first year of our partnership.
Our employees have taken tremendous pride in, and enthusiasm for, our partnership with Shelter. Our ‘charity champions’ have brought our staff together to have fun whilst raising money.
Shelter’s aims and vision are closely matched to our own beliefs. Working with them reminds us of the importance of a safe, affordable home for everyone and that the work we do can be part of the solution to putting an end to homelessness.
“My aim has been to get as many people as possible involved in our fundraising events. I know how I feel once I have volunteered and what you get back from it. I want other people to experience this; to have a feeling of reward and understanding of how we can make a difference.” Alan Emery, South West Regional Account Manager, Ibstock Brick.
To grow our business, our challenge is to build on our skills base for the future. By by spending time and providing learning resources to local groups, schools and colleges we can inspire young people to think seriously about the exciting career opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) industries such as ours.
Joining forces with Well North Enterprises to support its Science Summer School highlights the importance we place on education and developing the next generation of talented individuals who will continue to push the boundaries in our sector for years to come.”
In 2020, working with Wales High School in Rotherham as part of the North Star Summer School, we challenged pupils across the local area to design an eco-brick. More than 2,500 young people joined the digital programme, led by Professor Brian Cox, to share their experience and findings of testing and innovating in search of new solutions.
Our 6 Health and Safety Rules
New initiatives are helping us achieve our
ambition of zero harm for all of our people.
Making all our workplaces Covid safe
During the Covid-19 pandemic our enhanced protocols allowed us
to create a safe working environment, achieving industry recognition
for our Safe Start programme.
Supporting Employee Wellbeing
Our wellbeing agenda continues to focus on supporting our
employees through the introduction of a number of initiatives.
Ibstock Brick University
Since 1998, 552 employees and customers have completed
our Ibstock Brick University course, a market leading
initiative that supports the entire supply chain.
Our award-winning apprenticeship programme creates a pool
of world-class engineers who will drive forward our
innovation and manufacturing excellence for years to come.
Our ethos ‘nothing is worth doing unless it is done safely’ forms part of our ambition to eradicate injury, no matter how small, for good. And by introducing a new health and safety roadmap we can drive improvements in health and safety practices.
We also believe staff should take personal accountability for creating a safe workplace. To reflect this, each of our 6 Health and Safety Rules starts with ‘I will’. These rules help and guide employees to make the right decisions about health and safety practice, and are crucial in creating a stronger safety culture that is maintained in the long-term. In line with this, we have made significant progress with no work-related deaths and 41% reduction in our Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) in 2020.
During the pandemic, we worked to ensure all of our working environments were Covid-secure so people felt safe and comfortable returning to work.
Throughout our phased re-opening of sites, a comprehensive risk assessment made sure we could operate safely. This process was continually reviewed and adapted so it remained relevant, site specific and compliant.
We also introduced a Safe Start programme, held on our staffs first day back. This initiative allowed us to share the enhanced safety protocols that were in operation and provided employees with the opportunity to share any concerns, request information and provide feedback.
Our efforts in this area were recognised by the British Ceramic Confederation’s Pledge Award of Excellence, which we received for our strong leadership and response to the COVID-19 crisis. We also received a Pledge Award for the steps we took to support our employee’s mental health and wellbeing during this time. The judges commented: “Ibstock were quick to act and taking steps across all areas of their multi-site operations putting measures in place to support employees and ensure sites were COVID secure before reopening and continuing to evaluate and make changes wherever needed to keep everyone safe. The company and its employees have gone ‘above and beyond’ and shown true leadership in the face of adversity.”
The health and wellbeing of our employees is of paramount importance. With this in mind, we created a working group to shape and drive our wellbeing agenda. Made up of representatives from around the business, it ensures initiatives, such as our 12 Days of Care, have employee’s wellbeing in mind.
Coming at the end of a very different and difficult year, the aim of 12 Days of Care, was to engage with our staff through a range of fun, informative and charitable events, whilst providing information, resources and activities to help them care for themselves and others. Events included virtual yoga, the Big Walk for Shelter and festive games whilst daily care blogs and tips encouraged staff to share their own experiences of wellbeing. The initiative was a great success and one we are looking to repeat again in the future.
Ibstock Brick University (IBU) is an example of our commitment to equipping the supply chain with the brickwork knowledge needed to best serve their customers.
Since 1998, 552 employees and customers have participated in our much-admired industry benchmark course. It covers a wide variety of topics including how bricks are made and the British standards governing them, codes of practice for workmanship on-site and an understanding of issues relating to the bricks and how they can be resolved and treated. To pass, candidates undertake three practical and written examinations, with a minimum pass rate of 70%.
“The IBU course was a unique three-day immersion into the world of clay bricks. At Taylor Maxwell we take great pride in equipping our people with the product knowledge they need, to provide a first-class service to our customers and the course gave me expertise and insight into bricks that I wouldn’t find anywhere else. Being invited onto the course felt like a rite of passage when I joined Taylor Maxwell and I wholeheartedly recommend it to my peers.” Andrew Shutt, Regional Manager, Taylor Maxwell.
Our challenge is to continue to build on our skills base for the future by nurturing a new generation of highly qualified employees who will bring new skills, energy, ideas and enthusiasm to the business. To achieve this, we have invested in a comprehensive Apprenticeship Programme to deliver world-class engineering skills. Ultimately, the scheme contributes to our overall goal to grow our business by investing in our people – from the very start of their careers – and helping them achieve their full potential.
We offer two four-year engineering apprenticeship programmes; Advanced Mechanical Engineering and Advanced Electrical Engineering. On completion of the programme, our apprentices are ideally placed to develop their career within the company. We have a long history of retaining apprentices– 72% are still with the company three years later.
Our award-winning Apprenticeship Programme is not just about training; it is about bringing a new generation into the Ibstock family. It is only by nurturing future talent that we will have people with the technical expertise to manufacture our products for years to come.
“Practical study is well suited to me, which is why I chose Ibstock’s apprentice scheme. When I started on the programme you could see it’s heavily invested in across the whole company and the senior teams value the apprentices. It feels like a family away from home.” James Walton, Apprentice at Dorket Head.
In 2019, our programme was awarded the Gold award in the Best Apprenticeship Scheme category at the Training Journal Awards.
For more information on Ibstock’s Early Career opportunities, including Apprenticeship opportunities, visit here.
Ibstock’s Extensive Product Range
Our market leading range of clay and concrete products combine
durability with strong environmental and ethical credentials.
Providing a home for nature
Our range of eco-habitats helps customers meet
the specific environmental needs of their projects.
The launch of Mechslip demonstrates our commitment to building
value through collaboration and providing leading edge solutions.
As the UK’s leading manufacturer of clay and concrete building products, our product range is unrivalled in terms of breadth and depth.
Sustainable specification and ‘Life Cycle Thinking’ are driving trends in the field of building design. Architects, developers, contractors and investors are thinking more about the products they use in construction, and the impact they have on the sustainability credentials of their buildings.
A sustainable product combines longevity and durability with strong environmental and ethical credentials. And we’re working with our customers across the supply chain to change perceptions and widen the understanding of the sustainability credentials of clay and concrete products.
To view our full range of products click here.
Understanding the need for new homes to support a ‘net gain’ in biodiversity, we are working with our customers to create wildlife friendly habitats that can be built into the home. We offer a range of specialist eco-habitat products for bats, swifts, hedgehogs and bees. These discreet products allow wildlife to live in harmony with people for the lifetime of the building.
To view our full range of products click here.
Building value through collaboration is a way of thinking within Ibstock. Working in partnership with our customers and suppliers we can create solutions and catalyse leading-edge innovation.
A perfect example of a successful collaboration is the launch of Ibstock Brick’s MechSlip brick slip cladding system. Working alongside Ash and Lacy, it is an exemplar of continuous product innovation. It provides our customers a lightweight, mechanically fixed cladding system that delivers all the benefits of natural clay brick without compromise.
It was designed with performance and safety built in mind and is the most comprehensively tested and certified non-combustible rainscreen cladding system of its kind. More importantly for the specification market, it offers a wide spectrum of design options with a palette of more than 300 Ibstock brick finishes opening up a world of creative opportunities.
View more about MechSlip here.
Responsible Quarry Restoration
The restoration of our Ellistown quarry is a showcase for our
approach to environmentally sensitive estate management.
Responsible Land Stewardship
Our biodiversity and restoration plans ensure that the impact of our activities
on the environment are minimised. Our estates teams manage nine miles
of footpath, 26 miles of hedgerow and more than 300 acres of woodland.
We are committed to ensuring the land we manage is carefully restored once materials have been extracted. And the restoration of an old quarry at Ellistown in a prime example of how we achieve this.
The original plan for the site in Leicestershire was to restore it as a contoured hole in the ground. Working in partnership with Mick George Limited it was decided to bring the land back quickly with a scheme more in keeping with the local landscape and to enhance biodiversity at the site. This involved planting woodland that now forms part of the National Forest, creating open grassland glades and providing a network of footpaths so the local community could enjoy the space. We also created of several pools suitable for Great Crested Newts, who were relocated to a safe space during the early stages of the project. It has been such a success we are planning similar schemes across our estate.
Environmentally sensitive estate management is one of our key priorities. Working in partnership with local councils and our wildlife partners, the land we manage is carefully restored to its once materials have been extracted. We currently manage nine miles of footpath, 43km of hedgerow and more than 300 acres of woodland.
We’re also aware of the impact our activities have on biodiversity, especially at our quarries. To minimise our impact, we have strict operating guidelines that pay due care and attention to the surrounding habitat.
At number of our sites we’ve implemented enhanced Biodiversity Action Plans. At our factory in Birtley, County Durham, we’re introducing a scheme to enhance the adjacent Birtley Union Brickworks Local Wildlife Site. Through the creation of a new pond creation and a habitat management plan we will be enriching the wetland area, providing potential beneficial impacts on the great crested newt population as well as improving local biodiversity.