Bridging the gap between sustainability and the supply chain

20 May, 22

Russell Roof Tiles calls for greater education on sustainability, as stats show 45 per cent of the UK’s total carbon emissions are produced by the construction industry.

As the industry continues to face the economic challenges caused by the pandemic, Brexit and other geo-political events, the situation is set to worsen material shortages and energy costs. Combined, this has created a huge backlog of issues, increased costs, and disruption to supply chains. Then add the drive for sustainability to the mix.

Sustainability presents a huge challenge to the supply chain with many facets to unravel. Climate change, pollution, biodiversity, and carbon emissions are just a few buzz words that spring to mind, around the topic of debate. But it’s important to realise sustainability is the best way to help tackle climate change and reduce global warming. What changes are made in the next decade are critical to the future.

Sustainability has been the driving force of the news agenda, but it seems only now is it having an impact on the construction industry.

Since COP26, 86 per cent of respondents believe its acted as a driver for change . The Government is also implementing new building regulations to reduce the carbon footprint of the construction industry with Part L being introduced in June with the focus on setting higher standards for the energy performance of new and existing buildings.

The first change that can be implemented to reduce material waste is by creating products which last longer, this means building materials with longevity that are better for the environment and meet all building regulations.

Concrete roof tiles offer a good option for those looking for sustainable materials as they have a lifespan in excess of 60 years, during which, they require very low levels of maintenance and use considerably less energy during manufacturing when compared to its similar clay counterparts.

Larger format tiles are often classed as a “greener” choice as they are delivered to site in fewer batches, resulting in reduced transport. The other major benefits away from the cost, is the speed the roof can be fitted in nearly half the time the plain tiles would take, thus ultimately saving money for both contractors and developers.

Manufacturers also need to continue to work on product development to ensure they keep up with the demands of the modern building site and can continue to fill the shelves of builder’s merchants to keep a steady level of sustainable materials readily available to customers.

Leading pitched roof tile manufacturer, Russell Roof Tiles, has spent the past few years investing in sustainability across its three sites. Daniel Hancox, Business Support Manager, is heading the firm’s task forces to look at a number of new initiatives and provide ways in which material manufacturers and merchants can work together to build a more sustainable future for the construction industry.
He comments: “From the foundations of a building right up to the roof it’s important to check whether or not the materials you are using are sustainable and meet the ever-changing building regulations. Getting this right from the start will help prevent the need for expensive retrofit or remedial works further down the line.”
“It’s a challenge that faces the whole of the supply chain, but by working together to make little changes here and there, we can make a huge difference overall. It’s time to start embracing sustainability and to recognise the value it brings.”
“Across the supply chain we would encourage everyone to make room for sustainability and showcase the efficiency of these materials and how they can benefit construction in the long run. There has never been a greater opportunity to promote sustainable products, with greater shelf space.”

Everyone has a role they play in supplying and recommending sustainable products to housebuilders and developers to ensure that buildings meet the eco-friendly expectations of the 21st century. However, sustainability goes beyond just products, it is about ensuring every part of the supply chain is doing more to be energy efficient and carbon free.
These can be small changes such as using recycled packaging, signing up to a pallet return scheme or even making the switch to electric equipment where possible, which is something that Russell Roof Tiles have done recently to reduce emissions across its sites by investing in a fleet of electric forklifts.

Demand for green products will only continue to rise. For the industry to move towards a sustainable future, builders merchants and manufacturers needs to work together and make changes where possible to overcome the issues.

Russell Roof Tiles is a leading independent pitched roof tile manufacturer providing leading UK house builders and high-profile social housing and commercial projects, where sustainability and eco-credentials are of the utmost priority.

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