Moore Concrete, a company based in Co. Antrim, has been making strides towards becoming carbon net zero. The company recently hosted members of the Guild of Agricultural Journalists of Ireland to showcase their efforts. With over 160 employees, the UK and Irish farming sector accounts for over 45% of Moore Concrete’s annual turnover. The company has implemented several key processes to reduce the impact of precast manufacturing on the environment. Among these processes is the use of green energy, with onshore wind accounting for 100% of the company’s electricity usage. Moore Concrete also recycles as much water as possible during the manufacturing process, with any excess water being cleaned and recycled. The company is also ISO 14001 accredited, demonstrating their commitment to continual improvement across all operations, pollution prevention, and energy reduction.
Moore Concrete’s most innovative aspect of their transition towards net zero has been their commitment to developing low-carbon concrete mixes. The company has been working for over 20 years to reduce the carbon intensity of Portland cement in concrete mixes. They can currently produce precast concrete products with a mix including up to 66% ground granulated blast-furnace slag (GGBS), lowering the carbon dioxide (CO2) content of precast products by over 50%. The company’s technical manager, Adeline McCartney, explained that “GGBS can improve the environmental performance of concrete and we are continuing to research how we can use more and more replacement material. Cement-free concrete with the strength and integrity of our current concrete mixes is the goal. We recently took a huge step forward in this area by producing a completely cement-free bunker wall in conjunction with Earth Friendly Concrete. By removing Portland cement from the concrete mix, we can lower the overall carbon footprint of our product by up to 80%.”
Traditionally, steel reinforcement bars have been used to strengthen precast concrete. However, the high carbon footprint associated with their manufacture and their impact on the lifespan of concrete products has led Moore Concrete to develop new reinforcement materials. The company is currently testing mix designs for their livestock drinking troughs, using alternative non-ferrous materials for reinforcement. This testing is aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of the finished product and, therefore, their end customer.
Moore’s new Ox Fence range includes a recycled plastic strip embedded in the post, enabling wire to be easily stapled directly to the post. This provides a unique timberless fencing solution made from fully recycled materials and guaranteed to last for as long as the entire post itself, which has a design life of up to 30 years. McCartney explained that “this feature has been developed in response to the feedback that we have received from both farmers and fencing contractors when we surveyed how the specification of the posts could be improved. Our plan was to offer the market a precast fencing system that represents a strong, durable, maintenance-free, CE-marked solution. And by common consent, we have succeeded in achieving this aim courtesy of the Ox Fence range.”
Independent assessments and certification processes verify Moore Concrete’s journey towards carbon net zero. The company has attained Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for a cross-section of its product range. An EPD is a standardized document that details a product’s environmental performance. EPDs are produced on the basis of a life-cycle assessment and must be verified by an independent expert. McCartney further explained that “the purpose of these declarations is to provide transparent information that enables customers and clients to easily understand how our products perform in this context. This allows for informed decision making in regard to the environmental impact when planning a project.”
80% of all Moore Concrete’s suppliers are based in Northern Ireland. This not only reduces transport emissions but also supports the local economy. With their commitment to reducing their carbon footprint and developing sustainable solutions, Moore Concrete is leading the way in environmentally conscious manufacturing.