Solar power lights the way to sector-leading sustainability investment for building products manufacturer

16 May, 22

From 2025, the Northampton head-quartered brick, block and concrete producer will source 70% of its electricity needs from a solar farm in central England, replacing its current mainstream electricity supply.

This sector-leading investment will provide renewable energy to Forterra’s 17 sites for 15 years, delivering annual carbon savings of 14,000 tonnes, equivalent to the energy usage of 13,500 households.

The electricity will be generated by a new solar power project developed by the global solar energy firm Lightsource bp. Zosia Riesner, Director of Power Markets for Europe, Lightsource bp, said, “Forterra is showing real leadership with this deal, which will drastically reduce the carbon emissions of its operations. It is also an astute move to secure predictable, long-term energy costs at a time of extreme price volatility.”

The PPA between Lightsource bp and Forterra will be facilitated by Dutch energy company Eneco, a licensed supplier in the UK. Nigel McManus, Head of EET UK said, “Eneco is delighted to use its trading capability to help bring a new renewable asset to market”.

Stephen Harrison, Forterra’s Chief Executive, said, “This agreement will provide us with price security and stability alongside the clear sustainability benefits.

“It sees us make tangible progress in the race to net zero. Rather than relying on green energy generated by others, we are actually investing in a dedicated source of renewable energy generation, helping to decarbonise the grid, something that is critical to the UK’s net zero journey. We also aim to generate another 10% of our electricity requirement from our own on-site solar and wind renewables by 2025.

“Overall, we have implemented ambitious ESG targets. Between 2010-19 we reduced our carbon emissions by 22% and have pledged to reduce them by a further 32% by 2030.

The investment follows a series of other important measures announced by Forterra as it looks to reduce its carbon footprint, including a reduction in single use plastic used to wrap its products, the use of HVO (bio diesel) fuel to power all its mobile machinery at its Measham facility, the switch to electric and hybrid vehicles in its car fleet and a £21 million investment in its haulage fleet further advancing towards becoming entirely Euro 6 compliant.

Forterra is also currently developing the largest and most efficient brick factory in Europe at its Desford plant in Leicestershire.

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