EPD Australasia

EPD Contributes to Brickworks’ Sustainability Strategy

A subsidiary of Brickworks Building Products, Austral Masonry produces the workhorses of the construction industry: masonry blocks, retaining walls and paving.  Parent company Brickworks is one of the world’s largest and most diverse building material manufacturers with sustainability built into its core purpose: to create beautiful products that last forever.

As part of their sustainability strategy and commitment, the company has recently published their first EPD for the GB Masonry range of coloured masonry blocks.  We spoke to Cathy Inglis, Brickworks General Manager – Technical & Innovation, about their sustainability strategy and how the EPD process has helped to advance their environmental goals.

Austral Masonry’s parent company, Brickworks Building Products, has set ambitious 2025 sustainability targets.   What role, if any, does Austral Masonry’s EPD play in achieving those targets?

In 2021 Brickworks set some ambitious targets including a goal to double the sales volumes of products with leading sustainable attributes by 2025.  With so many opportunities we have already achieved and exceeded this goal.  So going forward we have increased our target and will continue to deliver more sustainable products and increase the range of lower embodied carbon products across the Brickworks range.  Austral Masonry’s EPD conveys the environmental performance of the range of products produced and highlights those products with lower embodied carbon.  These low carbon masonry units will now contribute to Brickworks sustainable products targets.

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

In undertaking the EPD for our masonry plant we developed a clear understanding of the impact of the different raw materials and processes for the diverse range of products manufactured.  We can see the impact of incorporating recycled content and cement replacement materials, not just on the carbon footprint but on other environmental indicators.

How does the company plan to use the EPD moving forward?

The EPD will be used to provide valuable information to the market on the impact and performance of concrete masonry units.  The EPD will be a benchmark for ongoing improvement, focusing on responsible sourcing of raw materials, increasing recycled content and improvement of our manufacturing processes to reduce environmental impact.

Based on your experience, do EPDs add value to the construction industry as a whole?

EPD’s add value to the construction industry and give designers and engineers the ability to compare the impacts of different materials and choose the most sustainable products for their project.

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