ACO paves way to Net Zero by 2045 with decarbonisation roadmap


With climate change more apparent than ever, ACO Technologies has announced ambitious plans to be Carbon Net Zero five years ahead of the government’s deadline. The world leader in drainage and water management solutions has set out a host of sustainability and decarbonisation initiatives on its ‘Roadmap to Net Zero’ to help tackle global warming.

Earth’s climate is rising at a rate not seen in the past 10,000 years, according to NASA, and the United Nations state that the Earth is now 1.1°C warmer than it was in the 1800s. In the UK, the Met Office confirmed June 2023 as the hottest June on record. Meanwhile scientists from the US National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) uncovered 4th July 2023 was the hottest day on Earth since records began in 1979, with global temperatures registering 17.18°C.

Given the alarming rate at which the Earth’s climate is warming, ACO Technologies is striving to lead by example with its decarbonisation efforts. Already the first manufacturer to be selected as a CO2nstructZero Business Champion, ACO Technologies, which encompasses ACO Building Drainage and ACO Water Management in the UK, aims to align to the government’s Net Zero Strategy: ‘Build Back Greener’ by 2045. In doing so, it will also meet CO2nstructZero goals by the same date as well as the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) Net Zero near-term targets.

The Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) aims for a year-on-year reduction of 4.2% in Scope 1 and 2 emissions, as well as a 2.5% reduction for Scope 3 emissions. To join the SBTi, ACO has evaluated its Scope 1 and 2 emissions and set realistic targets that are in line with keeping global temperatures within 1.5°C compared to pre-industrial temperatures. These targets have been independently assessed and accepted by the STBi and ACO’s progress will be verified with annual audits. To remain compliant and achieve the SBTi’s near-term targets, ACO is aiming to decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 57% by 2030.

As part of its decarbonisation strategy, ACO has already invested into renewable and green energy solutions at its manufacturing facilities in the UK. The investment has resulted in ACO Qmax, the combined drainage and attenuation system, becoming the first ‘Carbon Smart’ product in its range. Qmax components, manufactured at ACO’s Caxton Road site in Bedford, emits Zero Carbon from direct and indirect scope 1 and 2 emissions.

Mike Simpson Lane, Managing Director of ACO Technologies (UK), said: “The journey to Net Zero is a highly important one that resonates with our core values as a business. Everything that we do is geared around protecting and enhancing the peoples’ lives and the natural environment. By providing products and design support, we help facilitate the creation of integrated drainage solutions.

“Naturally, this filters into what we do internally and we’re proud to launch our Roadmap to Net Zero. While there is a long road ahead, we have set our sights high and want to be Carbon Net Zero ahead of the government’s 2050 deadline. It’s imperative we can play our part in reversing the impacts of climate change as soon as possible.”

ACO’s decarbonisation strategy follows a long list of sustainability achievements over recent years. The company is certificated by BSI to operate an Environmental Management System which complies with the requirements of ISO 14001:2015. ACO also reduced its CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) by 68% between 2015 and 2022, with the results continuously verified by an independent third party during this period and this is ongoing today.

The company is also Carbon Neutral for Scope 1 and 2 emissions, using Gold Standard and Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) offsetting credits to offset any residual carbon that it cannot reduce through its manufacturing processes.

Beyond that, ACO is investing heavily into operations around its UK sites in Shefford and Bedford. Both use a green energy tariff electricity supply, while the business now operates 100% electric forklifts around the factory floor at Bedford.

A champion for biodiversity, ACO is also pioneering the way in safeguarding urban habitats and tackling biodiversity decline through its Habitat Matters initiative. Habitat Matters has been designed to help the construction industry and the public understand the intricate relationship between humans, infrastructure and the environment.

Habitat Matters launched in 2021 through a collaboration with 19 industry partners, and ACO has since gone on to educate built environment professionals through an eight-part webinar series and a six-part podcast series, in collaboration with area experts.

Mike Simpson Lane said: “The mission to get to Net Zero cannot be understated, given all the evidence around climate change and biodiversity losses. That’s why we are dedicated to upholding the highest levels of environmental responsibility across every aspect of the organisation. We constantly strive, in partnership with our suppliers and customers, to continually improve our energy efficiency, lower carbon intensity in operations and embedded within our products, and minimise our environmental and ecological impact throughout the life cycle of the product.”

Add a Comment

No messages on this article yet

Editorial: +44 (0)1892 536363
Publisher: +44 (0)208 440 0372
Subscribe FREE to the weekly E-newsletter