North West manufacturer Aquaspira, which specialises in producing large low carbon pipes for the housing, utilities and infrastructure industries, is on course to deliver on ambitious targets to reduce its embodied carbon by 50% by 2023 – with its sights set on a zero-carbon product by the end of the decade.
A six-figure investment into R&D is already paying dividends with Aquaspira boasting its first drainage product using 20 per cent recycled material. Heavy investment has already been committed with the delivery of a new research laboratory at its Nelson-based headquarters.
As a specialist manufacturer of large diameter drainage pipes, Aquaspira is working in close partnership with the University of Birmingham (UoB) and the UKCRIC National Buried Infrastructure Facility, to develop a lower carbon smart pipe for sustainable large-scale buried infrastructure projects.
The research has the potential to make a significant step-change in helping the construction sector achieve Government de-carbonisation targets. Trials are underway to explore the use of recycled materials for storm and drainage water pipes and the backfill required for their installation, as well as incorporating innovative sensing equipment for long-term asset monitoring.
Other recent key developments that have strengthened Aquaspira’s burgeoning sustainability credentials include:
Aquaspira’s Board has agreed investment to generate 35% of power on site from solar panels and has already fully changed over to LED lights with sensors. It is also in the process of replacing its diesel Fork Lift Trucks (FLTs) with electric versions; installing high frequency chargers for the FLTs; investing in digital media to reduce road mileage and continuing to improve efficiency of processes to reduce overall power consumption across its operations. Another key objective is to completely eliminate landfill waste from its North West site as soon as possible. The carbon emissions saved by the company of 126 tonnes per annum are a win-win with a corresponding reduction in overheads.
Aquaspira has also joined the SME Climate Hub – a pioneering global initiative that aims to create a tipping point for mainstreaming climate action and building business resilience.
Neil Wallace, Aquaspira’s Managing Director, said: “Aquaspira is working closely with some of the brightest minds in British academia to come up with solutions for the drainage and utilities industries. This will be beneficial to the industry and will demonstrate to those wedded to historic solutions that there are far more eco-friendly and high quality alternative products.
“Aquaspira has already proved through its CSR pipe product range that an alternative solution exists which is 5% the weight of concrete equivalents and requires up to 25% less excavation, and these are being widely used by utility companies, housebuilders and the wider construction sector. This is only the start, through our research and development partnership with the University of Birmingham, we will deliver lighter and more durable products, with the longer lifespan of HDPE*. We are also cutting down on carbon in the transportation cycle and excavation process as well. It is a win-win for the company, industry and planet.”