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SUSTAINABILITYIT


RUSSELL HITS THE ROOF WITH SUSTAINABILITY AGENDA


To meet rising demand for sustainability, every part of the supply chain is having to adapt and take a different approach towards the use of building materials, technology and energy storage, as BMJ investigates.


S


ustainability has been a real buzzword in the construction industry for many years now impacting each part of the construction supply chain and driving


product innovation.


As part of the March budget, the Chancellor announced that Green investment is at the heart of the UK’s economic recovery from Covid-19 and sustainability remains the utmost priority with key Government targets to reach including the upcoming Plastic Packaging Tax in just a years’ time.


At pitched roof tile manufacturer Russell Roof Tiles business support manager Daniel Hancox, is heading the firm’s task force to look at a number of new initiatives and unpick some of the legislative challenges and highlights some areas where materials manufacturers and merchants can work together.


He says: “The Plastic Packaging Tax will apply to packaging manufactured in or imported into the UK which contains less than 30 per cent of recycled plastic. This will affect manufacturers and merchants alike – with the question of who’s responsibility it is to incorporate this? We suggest that each part of the supply chain must work together to create the best sustainable solution for customers.


“We already use many products that are manufactured from 100% recycled plastic, and we are talking widely to our suppliers about what other alternatives are available in areas where virgin material is used.” Hancox says that as well as reducing the use of plastics in construction, the whole sector needs to invest in materials with lower carbon and create processes that produce fewer emissions that will help support this country’s challenging climate goals.


“In order to do this, builders’ merchants will have to take on board a number of key considerations to meet growing requirements. They will need to consider the building products they stock as some are known to be more sustainable than others. For example, concrete roof tiles are often considered an


April 2021 www.buildersmerchantsjournal.net 23


environmentally friendly roofing solution as they are strong, durable and use considerably less energy during manufacture when compared with similar clay counterparts because extensive power is required for firing clay in a 1,000+ºC kiln for up to 48 hours. Concrete tiles are cured at a much lower temperature – in the region of 55ºC – and for a shorter period of time of around 24 hours. By comparison, this equates to an overall energy saving of up to 30 per cent of that required in the production of clay tiles.” Sustainability is more than just what products are made from, the transportation of materials is another key factor to consider. Hancox says that all Russell tiles and fittings are transported on timber pallets, which can be returned or collected via its Pallet Return Scheme. By ordering in full load or full pallet quantities, customers can also help reduce to reduce the number of journeys


taken, and ultimately vehicle emissions. “In addition, our thinner leading edge tiles use 15% fewer raw materials than a standard concrete roof tile and the product has less depth, so 20% more tiles can be packed onto a pallet and this allows for greater transport efficiency.” He adds that Russell Roof Tiles was one of the first manufacturers to achieve an excellent rating of BES 6001: Issue 3 the most recent version of the BRE Framework for the Responsible Sourcing of Construction incorporating the need for energy efficiency. “Customers are also becoming increasingly aware of how products are produced and if they have been manufactured with a green ethos in mind. “ BMJ


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