Kingspan Group’s push towards net-zero is an excellent example of how companies can cut back on energy use and incorporate more renewable energy. In 2011, Kingspan set a goal to be 100% energy neutral by 2020, and earlier this year they announced that they are firmly on track to meet their goal.
Kingspan is a global leader in high-performance insulation and building materials manufacturer based out of Kingscourt, Ireland. They made the commitment to switch to net zero energy to combat greenhouse gases and inspire other companies to do the same. They noted that “the building sector contributes 30% of annual greenhouse gas emissions globally and accounts for 40% of global energy consumption. Unless more action is taken by Governments and corporations, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) predicts that greenhouse gas emissions will double over the next 20 years.”
In 2016, Kingspan’s renewable energy use reached 57% of its total energy use. To achieve that, the company took a three-pronged approach. First, they made efforts to produce more renewable energy on-site. Through wind, solar, and biomass technology the company now produces 7.6% of the energy it uses. Second, Kingspan has begun purchasing renewable energy from certified sources. By 2016, all their North American locations were operating completely on renewable energy.
Finally, Kingspan Group worked diligently to reduce energy usage overall. Their efficiency measures brought down energy consumption by over 30%, producing a fourfold reduction in carbon intensity levels. These reductions not only helped Kingspan to push past 50% of their goal, it also saved the company money.
The progress made by Kingspan in the six years since announcing its goal shows how proper planning and implementation can help companies cut energy use and greenhouse emissions. Kingspan Group continued to grow during this period, and should serve as an example of success for any company looking to reduce its energy footprint.