Energy-intensive businesses cannot go green on their own – it is Ibstock’s and Total’s shared ambition to be net zero businesses that has led to their joint success thus far.
That was the suggestion from Michael McGowan, Group Sustainability Manager at Ibstock, and Mark Rose, Director of Major Business at Total, when they spoke to me about how the energy giant is helping the largest brick supplier in the UK become an industry leader in sustainability.
Ibstock, which uses more than one billion kilowatt-hours of energy every year has recently committed itself to only buying renewable electricity as part of its longstanding relationship with Total.
Michael said: “Combatting climate change is a main priority for our business as we work towards becoming the most sustainable manufacturer of clay and concrete products in the UK and that switch to pure green electricity reduces our tonnes of carbon per tonne of production and it’s making strong progress towards a key business metric, which is a 15% reduction of carbon-based on a 2015 baseline, and what that’s doing is accelerating our journey to net zero carbon.
“It’s important to remember we can’t do this on our own – our relationship with Total goes back to 2013 and it’s clear that we both have a shared ambition to be net zero businesses.”
The renewable power used for Total’s Pure Green energy tariff is sourced from solar, wind or hydropower installations and is backed up by a Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin (REGO) certificate.
The clean energy procurement pledge is part of Ibstock’s journey to deliver net zero manufacturing – the firm has set a sustainability target of a 15% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions per tonne of production by 2025.
Of course, a successful and sustainable relationship relies on more than simply the type of electricity used – Mark highlighted that trust was an equally important part of the deal.
He told future Net Zero: “One of the things we try to do, our strapline in the UK if you like, is to become the UK’s most trusted energy supplier, and you can only do that by building strong relationships that can be maintained over the long term – we’ve been in gas for almost 34 years, but we’ve only been a significant player in power in the last seven or eight years and therefore being able to grow our proposition in the way we work with customers like Ibstock is really important.”
“Fundamentally, Total is trying to be at the cutting edge of the net zero carbon journey of the world’s energy suppliers.”