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The destination is clear – a greener, cleaner and more
sustainable future. It’s a journey that’s not going to
happen overnight but it’s one that we’re already moving
towards, in a number of positive ways.
Brickworks is committed to an additional 15% reduction
in Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 2030,
from baseline FY22, across combined Australian and
North American operations.
We have already made significant progress reducing our
emissions by 46% since 2006 in Australia.
Moving forward with sustainability at work
Some of the most important steps towards a more sustainable future start right here, with how we operate our own business. Building on our achievement of creating Australia’s first (and only) certified carbon neutral brick operation, we’re continuing to find new ways to evolve and adapt our manufacturing practices.
In Australia, Scope 1 and Scope 2 carbon emissions have followed a general downward trend, with a 46% decrease compared to the base year FY 2006. This decrease is supported by an investment of over $400 million, and is attributable to:
• Efficiencies gained from alternative fuels,
• Manufacturing consolidation
• Equipment upgrades, and
• Operational improvements
This is underpinned by our stretch target for a 10% increase in gas efficiency at Austral Brick plants by 2030.
In FY23 alone, Brickworks avoided 7,700 tonnes of carbon emissions in our Horsley Park Plant through the use of landfill gas as fuel – that’s the equivalent to the carbon used to power 1,300 homes in a year. In FY23 alone, Brickworks avoided 6,260 tonnes of carbon emissions in our Longford Plant through the use of waste biomass as fuel – that’s the equivalent to removing ~2,100 cars from the road each year.
In FY23 approximately 20% of recycled content was used in replace of raw materials, which means:
• Lowered amount of mined materials required.
Using local materials means less carbon miles associated with transporting long distances. We have a strong focus on local manufacturing, with operations located in every state.
During FY23, Brickworks progressively rehabilated 47,400 m2 of land, and transitioned 443,000 m2 land to industrial estates in Australia. 168,875 m2 of land was progressively rehabilitated in North America.
In FY23, alternative biofuels made up 11% of Brickworks Australian energy mix. Biofuel sources include landfill gas and sawdust.
Brickworks has been delivering progress against our existing carbon transition target, to invest in the transition to the hydrogen fuel economy. Brickworks is enhancing this target, to also include the target for continued investment into developing feasible renewable biomethane opportunities.
Brickworks is proud to be Australia’s first clay brick and paver manufacturer to achieve carbon neutral certification through Climate Active for our operation in Longford Tasmania.
Brickworks is proud to have celebrated 10 years of our Longford operation being certified carbon neutral.
• Over 70,000 tonnes of carbon emissions avoided over 10 years through the use of renewable fuels.• Over 50,000 tonnes of carbon emissions offset over 10 years.
We are investing in ongoing research to reduce the embodied carbon of our products, and partnering with leaders on bioenergy and Murdoch University to explore the use of hydrogen and bioenergy as a kiln fuel.
By 2030, Brickworks and our partners will invest over $22.6 million into research and development into our innovation focus areas including: the thermal mass benefit of products, light-weighting, raw materials optimisation to reduce embodied carbon and increase recycled content, sustainable design elements and product innovation.
We’re moving forward with products that support sustainable design
We’re embracing the sustainable side of the products we create in more ways than ever. Investing and innovating to reduce the carbon emissions involved with producing them.
Upfront embodied energy is only one part of the equation. Building with a durable, resilient and low maintenance material such as brick reduces the need for expensive upkeep. Other materials like lightweight cladding require ongoing upkeep and will contribute to additional carbon emissions with maintenance and replacement.
Bricks are inherently sustainable because they are designed to last. Unlike other materials:
• Bricks are low maintenance
• Bricks are fireproof
• Bricks are recyclable.
• Bricks come with a colourfast and durability warranty of up to 100 years.
GB Masonry’s new GB Aura range combines cement, sand and aggregates containing 17% total recycled material, including glass and ash, to craft beautiful masonry products for inspired architectural spaces.
Our Bowral Brick, Nubrik and Rochedale paver products have a Declare label, classifying them as a healthy building product. This means they:
• Have zero toxic Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s), which can have negative human health impacts including headaches, lethargy, and respiratory problems like asthma.
Bricks reduce heating and cooling demands. Bricks provide thermal comfort. Bricks are high density materials, meaning they have and ability to effectively absorb and store heat energy keeping your home cooler in summer and warmer in winter. This is something lightweight materials cannot do.
The durability of bricks means they are inherently sustainable resource - they can be recycled into products such as road base and into the manufacture of new brick.
10-20% of total energy used in the manufacturing of masonry products at our Oakdale East Masonry and Rockhampton site is solar energy.
We’re offering products that are high performing and highly sustainable to support the built environment
A building’s energy efficiency extends far beyond the processes that first bring it to life. It’s in how it performs in the long-term too. The bricks, masonry, stone, roofing and building systems we offer provide that high-performing and highly sustainable foundation.
We are pleased to announce we have developed a new carbon target:
• To achieve a 15% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, from baseline FY22, across combined Australian and North American operations.
• This is complemented by continued investment into developing feasible renewable biomethane opportunities and our sustainable product innovation strategies.
We are driving projects to even further reduce the embodied energy content of our products, including:
• Continued reduction in carbon emissions through the upgrading of our plants and equipment.
• Continued use of biofuels in our Australian energy mix which is 11% in FY23.
The thermal performance of brick is superior to lightweight board materials, and can lead to reduced operational carbon emissions over a building’s lifetime. The energy efficiency of buildings is measured on more than just manufacturing processes, it’s how it performs as a lived-in home. Building with bricks:
• Can reduce energy consumption, and therefore, reduce operational carbon emissions.
Results from over 8 years of independent research proves that, compared to lightweight cladding:
• Brick homes are more energy efficient.
• The thermal mass of bricks save lifetime operational carbon emissions
This research is based on ‘A Study of the Thermal Performance of Australian Housing, University of Newcastle, 2011-2017, and is currently being updated to changes contained in the National Construction Code 2022 residential energy efficiency provisions including an increase in the thermal performance of homes to the equivalent of a 7 star energy rating.
A building is long term – if you only focus on reducing upfront carbon, you aren’t truly addressing sustainability. Any net zero carbon strategy requires focus on both:
• Embodied carbon maintaining a building over its lifetime significally adds to the total embodied energy requirement of building materials. This means that when considering embodied carbon, you must look at the entire sum over the lifetime of a building.
• Operational carbon which contributes to a significant proportion of a building’s carbon footprint.
Building with a durable, resilient and low maintenance material such as brick reduces the need for expensive upkeep.
Leading building design safe, resilient, sustainable
Strong culture and care for our community
We are incrementally adopting the TCFD Recommendations, such as undertaking climate scenario analysis, identifying risks and responses. Through this process, long term carbon management strategies are being explored.
Understanding the impact we have on our planet is a responsibility we all share. Reducing emissions and mitigating operational effects is now imperative for any business. The good news is, we’re on the same journey as you.