The UK’s first carbon neutral laminate
The built environment contributes around 40% of the UK’s total carbon footprint and therefore has a vital role to play in our urgent transition to a Net Zero economy.
In 2019, the Royal Institute of Architects (RIBA) launched the 2030 Climate Challenge to encourage architects and the wider construction industry to achieve whole-life carbon for new and retrofitted buildings by 2030. Consequently, demand is rising for more sustainable materials and building products.
See Ltd recognised the importance of this challenge and is passionate about creating a more sustainable business. In 2019, the group partnered with EcoAct, an Atos company, to accelerate their own ambition for Net Zero by 2030.
One of the key projects of this partnership was to measure the environmental impacts of the group’s key product, BioCarbon Laminates, reduce these impacts and be transparent about their credentials through an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD). Ultimately, this would not only support their own climate targets but meet the needs of architects and builders looking to make more sustainable choices.
Creating a carbon neutral project: from cradle to grave
An EPD requires a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) which must adhere to strict criteria for how to assess and measure the environmental impacts and benefits of a particular product. It follows the ISO 14025 and 14040 series of standards and therefore ensures a robust environmental assessment that enables an organisation to make credible and verifiable statements about their product’s environmental credentials.
Using this process, the full life cycle of BioCarbon Laminates was assessed from source materials to transportation and end of life of the product (“Cradle-to-grave”). The assessment included environmental impacts such as carbon emissions, non-renewable energy use and water consumption.
The assessment considered the group’s existing sustainability strategy and Sustainable Forestry Management. For example, their partnership with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and use of recycled materials.
The process helped to identify the emissions hotspots throughout the lifecycle of the product and identify new initiatives to improve their carbon footprint. In particular, initiatives are focused on raw material sourcing and the improvement of manufacturing processes.
BioCarbon Laminates are proud to be the UK’s first range of carbon neutral decorative sheet materials, available in High-Pressure Laminates (HPL) and Solid Grade Laminates (SGL) and are produced in thicknesses between 0.5mm – 25mm, and a wide range of sheet sizes to suit a wide variety of application requirements.