Let’s get serious about going green

Paul Higgins
Paul Higgins

TuffX commercial director, Paul Higgins, looks at what we can expect from the green agenda in the second half of 2024 and what as an industry we should be doing about it now.

At the time of writing, in the run up to the General Election, we are hearing a lot of new promises on how Net Zero will be achieved and how the green agenda will be fulfilled.

But we’ve heard promises before. Rishi Sunak recently renegued on his promises to implement a deadline for selling new petrol and diesel cars, get rid of gas boilers, and introduce a Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) for all rental properties.

Post-election, we will have to wait and see what is actually in store for us, but milestones like the Future Homes Standard and the target of Net Zero by 2050, are not going anywhere. So, there really is no need for businesses in any sector to wait and see before delivering on the green agenda.

We already know that buildings contribute almost 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions, so we know there is a need to reduce this, whatever Government policies do or don’t require. With the popularity of glass as a building material ever increasing, we also feel a particular responsibility to do our bit.

As an industry, we need to be working to reduce carbon emissions now. For example, it is already possible to reduce the carbon dioxide in the glass that goes into the windows and doors we make, as well as other glass building products such as balustrades, and by doing so, we can make a significant difference to the 40% figure and reduce the amount of carbon emitted in a building’s lifetime.

To reduce our carbon footprint, we need to lower the carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) that are released in the extraction, refinement, transportation, and processing of all building materials.

Low carbon glass

TuffX has had a low carbon glass option in place for a while now, but this is only going to become more important in retail and commercial sectors. Balustrades particularly are a great item to utilise low carbon glass because they contain such a high volume of the material.

If you think about new build estates, renovations, or commercial properties, the amount of glass in balustrades is significant and therefore have the potential to make a big difference to the overall carbon emissions of the project.

Specifiers are already seeking out lower carbon building material options for their commercial projects, but demand among homeowners is only going to increase as we near the deadline for Net Zero.

All the TuffX low carbon glass products look the same as our other quality glass products. They also perform in the same way. The only difference is that they have up to 50% lower carbon content. In balustrades the achievement of keeping a high standard aesthetic is especially important as so much of the product is on show.

We may not be sure what the main legislative driver for lower carbon building materials will be just yet, but we do know they are imminent. And even if legislation continues to be altered or delayed, demand from commercial and increasingly retail markets is already here.

The UK population and industry have witnessed some extremely uncertain times in recent years, but as we move closer to 2050 the move towards green will only become more urgent.

The team at TuffX are pleased to have something new and relevant to offer sooner rather than later with our low carbon glass products and are pleased to be working closely with our customers to deliver these solutions to market.