2 minute read - 11th May 2023
Progress made on Forterra’s solar power investment
Construction has started on a solar farm in Retford, supported by building products manufacturer Forterra and developed by global solar energy firm Lightsource bp.
With construction expected to complete within a year, Forterra has taken significant steps to a sustainable future, and from 2025, the Northampton headquartered brick, block and concrete producer will source 70% of its electricity needs from the solar farm. This 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 solar power project also includes plans to actively improve the ecology of the site once construction has been completed. Alongside protection measures to preserve the existing bird and badger populations and safeguard hedgerows, enhancement measures are being implemented to strengthen the woodland and create habitats suitable for amphibians, reptiles, and invertebrates.
Neil Ash, Forterra’s chief executive, said: “We’re delighted to see progress in our efforts to reach net zero in our operations and achieve our ambitious ESG targets. 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. 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 £21m 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, which will also benefit from on-site solar panels.