Tarmac is the UK's largest quarrying company. We produce a wide range of different types and grades of aggregates (including sands and gravels, limestone, gritstone, basalt, granite, secondary aggregates, recycled aggregates, quarry aggregates and marine aggregates). These are used in many different applications in a variety of industry sectors.
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Tarmac’s range of primary aggregates is independently certified as ‘VERY GOOD’ against the BES 6001 Framework Standard for the Responsible Sourcing of Construction Products.
This certification enables customers who use our aggregates to gain extra points under the Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM), Civil Engineering Environmental Quality Assessment Scheme (CEEQUAL) and the Code for Sustainable Homes. It also reassures clients that the materials they are using have been produced responsibly across Tarmac’s business.
Our UK operations are also accredited to the Achilles BuildingConfidence scheme.
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Measuring carbon footprint
In 2011, Tarmac launched the industry’s first comprehensive Carbon Footprint Calculator. It enables us to provide customers with carbon footprint information for any product from any of our manufacturing locations in the UK.
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Reducing energy and CO2 emissions
We have a longstanding commitment to reduce energy use in manufacturing and cut CO2. As well as our own efficiency programmes, we work on specific initiatives with external partners like the Carbon Trust.
Carbon Trust Standard
In early 2011, our whole UK organisation achieved the Carbon Trust Standard for our CO2 management and reduction performance over the past two years. We have delivered this reduction across all our UK operations.
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Tarmac understands aggregates; and our expert teams can provide support and advice to customers on product selection and meeting project-specific technical and sustainability requirements.
Supply chain management
Tarmac has achieved BuildingConfidence accreditation and is a member of the Achilles BuildingConfidence governing council. We are committed to the underlying principles of BuildingConfidence and will require our supply chain to gain accreditation over the next few years. Tarmac is also a member of the Construction Product Association’s Green Procurement Group, which was set up in 2007 to deliver greater transparency and open dialogue between companies throughout the supply chain to achieve CO2, energy and waste reduction targets.
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Product quality and certification
Our products are manufactured using quality and environmental management systems certified to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, so customers know that they are made with the utmost consideration for quality and the environment.
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In 2011, we processed over 2 million tonnes of waste materials, including construction, demolition and excavation waste. This produced nearly 1.4 million tonnes of recycled aggregates, helping to conserve primary aggregates, and nearly 700 thousand tonnes of managed waste for landscaping and restoration.
We also use a by-product called Incinerator Bottom Ash (from burning waste in power stations) to produce a secondary aggregate.
All our recycled aggregates are produced in accordance with the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) Quality Protocol for recycled aggregates and independently certified to ISO 9001 quality management standard.
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Quarries and manufacturing operations can have an impact on biodiversity. However, many of our sites offer opportunities to conserve or enhance biodiversity. We have Biodiversity Action Plans, developed with independent ecologists, in place at all our active quarries and were the first quarrying company in the UK to do this. We also hold The Wildlife Trusts’ Biodiversity Benchmark at many of our UK sites – in fact, Tarmac holds 68% of all the Benchmarks awarded in the minerals/extractive sector.
All our sites have restoration schemes to return the site to beneficial use when mineral extraction finishes and we frequently adopt progressive restoration measures to minimise environmental impacts during extraction.
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We seek to maintain strong relationships with the communities around our sites. The scale and nature of our operations means that it is important to control and minimise any negative impacts on the local community. At the same time, our business brings many positive benefits to local areas in terms of employment, the local economy and support for community activities.
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We are committed to minimising waste and using natural resources efficiently across our business. As part of this commitment, Tarmac has a network of major recycling operations in the UK.
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Quarrying often involves the abstraction or transfer of groundwater or surface water, in order to extract the aggregate reserves. We also use water in the washing and processing of some aggregates. We actively manage and treat our abstracted water so that the majority of water we abstract at our sites is reused and/or returned to the aquifer.
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Local presence, national distribution
Our national network of sites means that we always have a local UK supply, which helps to minimise the transport miles involved in delivering our products. We also use alternative methods of transport, such as rail and water, or low CO2 vehicles where viable. We are working with our contracted hauliers on a wide range of projects to improve transport efficiency. For example, we are encouraging the use of fuel-efficient vehicles, facilitating driver training to minimise fuel consumption and using logistics management systems to increase operational efficiencies.
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IN-USE AND WHOLE-LIFE BENEFITS
By their very nature, the physical and mechanical properties of the aggregates we supply make them among the most durable of all construction materials, suitable for long-term use.
When the buildings and infrastructure our aggregates are used in come to the end of their design life, the aggregates’ durable nature facilitates their recycling for reuse in a wide range of construction applications. We can also recycle our tar bound road surfaces.
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New recycling system for roadside utility trenches cuts carbon and prevents waste going to landfill.
Carbon Trust Standard
Tarmac’s UK business awarded the prestigious Carbon Trust Standard.
Quarry production process0
See a diagram of the aggregate extraction and production process.