Tata Steel’s Shotton Works launches ambitious sustainability commitment with 20% carbon reduction target in year one.
Tata Steel’s Shotton Works site in North Wales has been producing market-leading steel products for 125 years. We recognise that today’s changing world is faced with a climate emergency, and the team at Shotton is committed to providing a positive environmental legacy.
With the Shotton Works site situated next to a protected wetland, some of our earliest sustainability efforts in preserving our natural environment were recognised with a Prince of Wales Award for Conservation all the way back in 1971.
However, we recognise that there is much more to do. Our sustainability commitment builds on decades of effort in this area, influencing every decision we make today and in the future.
The formal commitment launching this month is the unification of activities that we have already started at the site. More importantly, it also establishes what we will do next to embed these principles further within operations.
Our ambition is for Shotton Works to become carbon neutral well in advance of the deadlines set by the Paris Agreement or national targets, in particular the UK greenhouse gas emissions net zero target of 2050. With a bold target to achieve a 20% reduction in our site carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2022, our commitment demonstrates a holistic approach to sustainability that covers four key themes of sustainable development:
1. Reducing our site’s carbon footprint
2. Developing and producing products and services that support sustainable construction
3. Protecting and expanding the biodiversity that co-exists on our site
4. Maximising our material efficiency and achieving zero onsite waste
These themes encompass all areas of Shotton’s activities, giving us a clear focus for all our business decisions. There is no silver bullet when it comes to delivering a sustainable future; it’s only when the various aspects of mitigating climate change, supporting biodiversity and being a responsible manufacturer all come together that we can make a real difference.
Reducing our carbon footprint
The first step to CO2 reduction is being able to quantify and understand the amount we are producing. The Shotton site achieved ISO 50001, the International Standard for Energy Management Systems, at the end of last year thanks to its established management system and robust metering and monitoring of energy usage on site, demonstrating a clear visibility and awareness of the CO2 emissions generated.
For 2022, we have set a target to reduce our carbon footprint by 20%, and we are well on track to do so.
A huge part of this will be achieved by switching our electricity supply to 100% renewable sources, bringing our electricity use to zero carbon. From April 2022, the site will be supplied by a combination of sources such as solar, wind, biomass, and hydro, with the supply fully certified by UK Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGOs). This major step reduces the site’s annual CO2 emissions by 16%.
Further examples of carbon reduction projects include replacing the on-site vehicle fleet to 100% electric and switching all site lighting to energy-efficient alternatives. In the medium to long term, we will also be reviewing options for producing pre-finished steel products in a fundamentally more carbon-efficient way, creating the pre-finished steel products of tomorrow. This includes developments such as solar-reflective pigments, as well as bio-based and solvent-free alternatives to reduce the embodied carbon of the products and enable sustainable construction.
Shotton: looking forward to a sustainable future
Decarbonising a traditional industry of the scale of steel is a long-term undertaking. But “long term” shouldn’t stop action from being taken today. Bill Duckworth, Site Manager, Shotton Works commented: “Sustainability is an increasingly important driver and consideration for the construction industry. Our aim is to deliver even more sustainable products to the market, enabling future net zero carbon buildings to be achieved whilst reducing our carbon footprint as a site. With a combination of activities, we are well on track to achieve our emissions reduction target of 20% this year. These small steps to reduce our carbon footprint amount to big strides on our sustainability journey and delivering our overall sustainability commitment for Shotton.”
If you’d like to learn more about our Shotton site, and the steps we are taking to create a more sustainable future for our company, the building industry, and the planet, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Download Shotton biodiversity brochure here.