Corus, an international steel producer, had already achieved a 13% reduction in overall carbon emissions since 1999, but it wanted to go further. Having identified a genuine demand for sustainable construction materials Corus decided to align this commitment to create the most sustainable building envelope, with the aim to increase market share in this competitive and price sensitive market.
Responding to pressure from customers, especially supermarkets and high street retailers, to green their supply chain, Corus recognised that the strongest position it could take in the construction marketplace, would be to develop a product where the carbon emissions were reduced to net zero.
Corus developed Confidex Sustain®, an offering available to all buildings specifying its two premium pre-finished steel products (Colorcoat HPS200 Ultra® and Colorcoat Prisma®) as part of a Colorcoat® assessed cladding system. Corus recognised that achieving net zero carbon emissions would be the most sustainable position to take however changing production processes alone would not achieve this goal. Therefore, it worked with The CarbonNeutral Company, an international carbon offset and carbon management business, to develop a methodology to calculate the greenhouse gas emissions produced over the lifecycle of the steel cladding, including manufacture, installation, use and end of life recycling. In 2007 Corus launched the worlds first cradle to cradle CarbonNeutral® building envelope. This accreditation is applied after a Confidex Sustain® building envelope is ordered and built, the methodology is applied and the carbon footprint of the development is calculated reduced to net zero. Net zero emissions can only be achieved through carbon offsetting, i.e. purchasing carbon credits in a portfolio of international technology projects that reduce carbon and meet global carbon offset standards.
Since the launch in April 2007, 54 Confidex Sustain® assessed cladding system projects have been registered and completed across the UK and Ireland totalling 842,838m2 and offsetting 22,558 tonnes CO2. As a result of its CarbonNeutral® credentials Confidex Sustain® was specified and used as part of the building envelope of choice for Bulmers (Ireland), Prologis, Sainsburys, Huntstown Power Station (Ireland) and Princess Yachts in Plymouth.
Championing a building envelope which is CarbonNeutral® accredited gives Corus and their suppliers a real competitive advantage because it responds to the needs of its customers, helps meet carbon reduction objectives across the supply chain and increases return on investment by providing a sustainable product.