Carbon and energy

OUR VISION: To be recognised as a leading force in the delivery of a low carbon built environment.

Our business generates carbon dioxide through the energy and fuel we use to produce and deliver our products as well as from the limestone used to make cement. Our focus is on improving the energy efficiency of our production plants, increasing the use of renewable energy, and using more waste as fuel in our cement plants.

We also encourage energy-saving ideas from our employees through an opportunities database, which helps to reduce carbon emissions and saves energy costs.

Every week our business delivers an average of 750,000 tonnes of aggregates, asphalt and cement and 80,000 cubic metres of ready-mixed concrete by rail, water and road.

We employ dedicated logistics teams to focus on this key area. They work closely with operations, sales and service centre staff to improve both distribution efficiency and customer service.

We recognise that logistics is more than simply product distribution. It encompasses the whole spectrum of customer service – getting the right product at the right quality to the right place, on time, every time and with the best and most sustainable use of transport. 

Our products are delivered to customers in a fleet of around 1,200 Hanson-liveried vehicles, some company-owned but the majority operated by external contractors or by owner-drivers under a franchise scheme. Additional hired vehicles are used as required and we also operate a fleet of rail locomotives and wagons through a joint venture rail freight business, Mendip Rail.

Our marine dredging business operates a fleet of modern trailing suction dredgers which extract sand and gravel from licensed areas of the sea bed in the North Sea, the English Channel and the Bristol Channel. The fleet supplies more than 30 wharves around Britain, and in mainland Europe from Amsterdam to Le Havre. 

We also move materials by barge using the River Thames and the Grand Union Canal to supply ready-mixed concrete plants with sand and gravel.

A key part of our logistics management is to measure and improve service performance. A good deal of time and effort is spent gathering and analysing data surrounding vehicle availability, plant availability, late loads, customer call-back and vehicle utilisation. 

Improving truck utilisation is a key performance target for the business; we are also trialling the use of alternative fuels in our road transport vehicles.

Alternative fuels

Our three cement plants use a mix of alternative fuels including meat and bone meal, recycled local authority refuse known as Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF), liquid chemical waste and chipped tyres.

The target is to substitute more than 65 per cent of fossil fuels with sustainable alternatives in the three plants at Ketton, Padeswood and Ribblesdale. At present the average is around 58 per cent.

To achieve this, we are developing a strategy on fuel use and seeking greater consistency and quality from our suppliers.

Renewables

We have a renewable energy group looking at opportunities to develop or invest in renewables.

The biggest project completed to date is a nine megawatt solar energy farm at Ketton cement works in Rutland. The installation covers 20 hectares and features 38,544 panels, which will generate enough energy to cover around 10 per cent of the site’s annual electricity consumption. It is the first phase of a project that will eventually provide 12 megawatts of solar-powered energy.

The Ketton project was jointly developed by Lark Energy and Armstrong Energy, with the latter providing funding. Hanson will receive a proportion of the energy generated free, with the remainder at a preferential rate.