Introduction by Simon Willis, chief executive officer, Hanson UK

A key part of our 2030 sustainability commitments is our strategy to conserve natural resources, promote the circular economy and decarbonise our business. 
We want to use less virgin material and recycle and reuse more construction waste to allow us to produce low carbon products that will enable sustainable construction into the future. To help enable this, we have acquired Manchester-based A1 Services, which specialises in the waste removal and recycling of construction waste. The acquisition allows us to supply more recycled products into the local market as well as provide a source of recycled asphalt planings (RAP) for our asphalt business.
We are determined to be part of the solution to climate change and decarbonising our business is a thread that runs through everything we do.
We continue to make improvements through plant and site efficiencies and product innovation, but we recognise that our cement business holds the key to us being able to meet our 2050 net-zero ambitions. As a result, we are involved in several industry-leading carbon capture projects, the largest of which is our plans to build a carbon capture and storage plant at our Padeswood cement works in north Wales, which I am optimistic will provide a step-change to decarbonising the cement industry.
Sustainability is also about being a responsible employer and operator and we have updated our social value policy which integrates our health, safety and wellbeing, and environmental commitments. It is set out to ensure that we are accountable to our stakeholders and take responsibility for the role we are playing in their lives.
We recognise that we don’t have all the answers and can’t reach net zero alone, which is why we held our first, live, Let’s Talk Sustainability webinar. It provided a platform to share progress and successes across the sector and drew a huge online audience, highlighting the appetite within the industry to collaborate and play our part in meeting net zero targets. 
This will be the last year we report on our current sustainability targets and indicators as we are developing new, updated 2030 commitments to reflect the rapid evolution of sustainability topics. These will be centred on Heidelberg Materials’ four sustainability pillars: net zero; circular and resilient; safe and inclusive; and nature positive, but will reflect the key drivers within the UK construction industry.


  • Average CO2 emissions associated with our cementitious products down 12.56% since 2016
  • Certification to the psychological risk management standard ISO 45003
  • Development of EcoCrete range with COreduction in concrete of up to 85% 
  • All H&S indicators showing improving trends since 2018
  • The impact of our operations on Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions is down 16.2% since 2016, meeting our 2030 commitment for operational carbon
  • Our 23 quarrying operations that carried out biodiversity Net Impact Assessments (NIAs) in conjunction with BirdLife International achieved an average net improvement of 38.2%
  • Highest ever levels of alternative materials in asphalt and alternative fuels in cement
  • Acquisition of A1 Services to strengthen our circular materials offering
  • Generated our first social value profit report showing a social profit figure of £144.4 million (based on 2021 data)
  • Awarded gold membership of the 5% Club for the second consecutive year with 10.8% of our employees engaged in ‘earn and learn’ positions

Heidelberg Materials

In September 2022 our parent company HeidelbergCement announced its new global branding. The change to Heidelberg Materials better reflects the scope of the business, which has market leading positions in aggregates, cement, and concrete.

Heidelberg Materials places sustainability at the core of its activities and, through its products, is playing a leading role in helping the construction sector reach net zero.

Its strategy and sustainability commitments are shaped by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) and support its vision to build a more sustainable future that is:

  • net zero
  • safe and inclusive
  • nature positive
  • circular and resilient.

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) has validated Heidelberg Materials’ 2030 carbon reduction targets under its new 1.5°C framework. Following a thorough validation procedure, the company’s near-term target achievement has been successfully assessed against the SBTi’s strict criteria. Heidelberg Materials commits to individual scope 1 and 2 targets as well as a scope 3 target for 2030, in relation to the base year 2020.

Heidelberg Materials has a strong track record in reducing CO2 emissions. In 2022 it achieved a 26.5 per cent reduction of the specific net CO2 emissions per tonne of cementitious material compared with 1990 levels.