EPD Australasia

Boral Australia President & CEO Talks Sustainability and EPDs

Boral, the largest integrated construction materials company in Australia, have recently published their first EPD for a range of pre-mix concrete mixes. We spoke to President and CEO of Boral Australia, Wayne Manners about the company’s commitment to sustainability and the decision to invest in an EPD.

Boral has a strategic commitment to sustainability and has successfully reduced its environmental footprint. What are the key strategies you have employed to achieve this?

The key strategies Boral has employed to reduce its environmental footprint include:

  • reducing our carbon footprint by using low carbon solid waste-derived fuels for heating at our cement manufacturing operations
  • introducing our lower carbon concrete products into the market such as ENVISIA® and ENVIROCRETE® concretes
  • growing our recycling operations ? focused on products from construction and excavation waste materials ? which increase resource recovery, and
  • introducing lower carbon and higher recycled content asphalt, via our INNOVO™ asphalt products.

Boral’s focus is on reducing the environmental footprint of our operations as well as meeting the needs of our customers who are increasingly looking to use more sustainable products.

We are also delivering a more environmentally friendly customer experience to our concrete customers by giving them access to electronic dockets through our digital portal, enabling paperless delivery.

You have recently published your first EPD for pre-mix concrete. How does this investment help with your strategic commitment to sustainability?

The EPD helps us support our customers in delivering on their sustainability goals by providing externally verified transparent and comparable information about life-cycle environmental impact of a range of our pre-mix concrete products.

As the EPD provides a benchmark of the performance of our current portfolio of products, it also allows us to identify further product development opportunities to improve the environmental credentials of our products.

Investing in an EPD also demonstrates to our customers and other stakeholders that as a business we are committed to sustainability and to continuing to improve our environmental performance.

How do you envisage the EPD will be used by Boral now and in the future?

Foremost, we will be providing the EPD to our Sydney metro-based customers (as the EPD covers our Sydney metro concrete plants), a number of whom already have existing projects for which they are seeking verified emissions data. So, it is great to be able to meet this need.

Going forward, Boral will also be using it to educate builders and contractors on the differences between our normal concrete and lower carbon concrete products. This will enable them to make informed product choices.

As a marketing tool, the EPD will be used to reinforce our strategic commitment to sustainability and to providing our customers more sustainable product options. And as we’ve already mentioned, we will also use the EPD to benchmark the sustainability of our products and identify further improvements to the sustainability of our products.

Were there any learnings from the process of developing the EPD?

Yes, definitely. One of the key learnings was the importance of engaging with our customers to understand their needs in regard to an EPD. Our initial scope for the EPD was on our lower carbon products. But after discussing this with our customers, we realised that they were looking for broader coverage of our concrete products.

On any particular project our customers typically use a mix of lower carbon and standard concrete products ? so they would be looking for carbon emissions information on all the concrete products supplied to the project. Based on this feedback, we expanded the scope of products covered by the EPD. Another learning from engaging with our customers was that the information in the EPD document needed to be clearly presented, so that it was well understood by a wide range of our customers.

These learnings not only helped us develop this EPD but will also help us as we invest in further concrete EPDs.

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