Tarmac is the UK market leader in asphalt production. From our strategic asphalt plants locations across the UK, we produce a comprehensive range of asphalt products including recycled, ultradurable, coloured, lower-temperature and porous formulations to help our customers address key sustainability issues.
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Tarmac’s range of asphalt 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. The carbon footprint calculator methodology was developed in line with recognised industry standards PAS 2050 (Publicly Available Specification 2050) and asPECT, the Asphalt Pavement Embodied Carbon Tool developed by TRL for the Highways Agency.
Read more on Tarmac’s Carbon Footprint Calculator
Reducing energy and CO2 emissions
We have a longstanding commitment to reduce energy use in our manufacturing and installation processes and cut CO2. As well as our own efficiency programmes, we work with external partners such as the Carbon Trust.
Carbon Trust Standard
In early 2011, the entire UK organisation achieved the Carbon Trust Standard for our management and CO2 reduction performance over the past two years. We have delivered this reduction across all our UK operations.
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Tarmac understands roads. We invented the modern road surface and our expert teams provide support to customers in a number of areas, from understanding legislation and highway specification to supporting customers with advice on product selection and meeting project-specific technical and sustainability requirements.
We also specialise in designing high-quality, bespoke product formulations. We are able to offer a range of specialist asphalts that deliver more durability, flexibility and deformation-resistance.
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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Using recycled materials
Using recycled materials in our products is the most effective and beneficial way to reduce embodied CO2 and conserve natural resources. Tarmac uses recycled materials, such as Reclaimed Asphalt Planings (RAP) and other recycled materials, to make new asphalt products. In addition to durability, using recycled materials is key to achieving long-term sustainability and cutting the carbon footprint of roads. We use recycled materials, wherever possible, up to the maximum permitted by product standards and specifications and we continually work to increase the recycled content of all our products. This helps us minimise waste, cut CO2, and conserve natural materials like aggregates and bitumen, which helps deliver value for money to our customers.
To support this strategy we have invested in additional equipment at 19 asphalt plants in the UK, with additional capital expenditure planned at eight more plants over the next few years. These plants enable us to produce asphalt with very high recycled contents.
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Tarmac is leading a project looking at reduced-temperature asphalt technology within our industry and wider end-use markets. Traditional asphalt manufacture involves using high-temperature processes to dry the aggregates used to make asphalt and ensure that the mix is uniform. We are heading an industry group (funded by the Regional Growth Fund and Carbon Trust) in a two-year study looking at the formulation, mix and technical design specifications of cold and semi-warm asphalt. The ultimate goal is to reduce the carbon footprint of roads and improve the long-term sustainability of our road network.
Local presence, national distribution
Our national network of sites helps to minimise the transport miles involved in creating and delivering our products. We also use alternative methods of transport, such as 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
Durability is one of the most important properties in the overall sustainability of asphalt. Improving durability and reducing the need to resurface roads regularly minimises the whole-life carbon footprint, helps to preserve finite mineral resources, and delivers value for money for our clients and the public.
Whether clients want skid resistance, spray reduction or increased driver visibility, our products are designed to meet their requirements while maximising safety for all road users.
Products, such as MasterTint, our range of coloured asphalts, help to increase safety for road users by increasing visibility and demarcating lanes for cyclists, pedestrians and buses. When used in its pale ‘buff’ colouring, it also helps local authorities cut CO2 emissions and costs from street lighting without compromising on visibility or safety.
Managing surface and flood water is an increasingly critical issue across the UK. This poses challenges, especially in towns and built-up areas where surfaces such as roads, driveways, paths and car parks all affect water management and drainage.
The Flood and Water Management Act 2010 came into effect in England and Wales in 2011. It sets out clearer guidelines, roles and responsibilities for the Environment Agency and local authorities for managing surface water. Our products and expertise are enabling clients to address the sustainability issues related to this legislation and overall water management for their assets, such as roads, car parks, footpaths and all areas for traffic. We also create road surfaces that reduce the amount of spray from traffic, helping to promote road safety and better driver visibility.
We have been developing porous asphalt for more than a decade. TarmacDry, our porous asphalt system, helps our customers to manage the increasingly challenging problem of surface and flood water management. It allows water to drain through its surface before releasing the water slowly into the ground, into drainage channels or the primary drainage system, reducing the risk of flooding and managing water for beneficial reuse.
When a road comes to the end of its design life, it can be fully recycled into new asphalt materials. The old asphalt can be processed to produce Reclaimed Asphalt Planings (RAP), which can be taken to Tarmac’s local asphalt plant for reuse. We estimate that there are around two billion tonnes of road surface materials in the UK. This presents a major opportunity to enhance resource efficiency and also to cut CO2, since reusing RAP means the CO2 associated with the aggregates and bitumen it contains is recovered.
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Climate change resilience
As temperatures rise as a result of global warming, scientists expect an increase in extreme weather events leading to problems like flooding. Tarmac’s range of asphalt products, such as TarmacDry, can manage surface and flood water, helping to mitigate these effects.
Asphalt production process
See a diagram of how asphalt is produced.
Recycling material in Port Talbot
Tarmac is working with Costain and Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council to build a major new transport route in Port Talbot, Wales.
TarmacDry – low-maintenance porous surfaces
The new Morrisons supermarket in Bathgate, Scotland wanted their car park to be water-resistant and safe to walk on.