Australia’s first certified carbon neutral bricks

News /
14 March 2014
Australia’s first certified carbon neutral bricks

Brickworks Building Products, Australia’s leading building products manufacturer, has announced the launch of the country’s first carbon neutral bricks and pavers under the Federal Government’s National Carbon Offset Standard.

The bricks are available nationally under the Daniel Robertson brand and are manufactured by Brickworks’ subsidiary Austral Bricks at its Longford plant in Tasmania.

This milestone is the result of an ongoing commitment by Brickworks Building Products to deliver sustainable products and processes and to conserve our precious natural resources.

The Australian Government’s voluntary Carbon Neutral Program requires the measurement, auditing and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and the offset of any remaining emissions.

The carbon neutral certification of the range of pavers and bricks manufactured at Longford is largely achieved by the use of a unique fuel for kiln firing. That fuel is sawdust, a biomass material and a by-product of the local Tasmanian timber industry.

Mr Steven Mouzakis, National Energy and Sustainability Manager, said “The use of low emissions biomass, as opposed to fossil fuels, is largely responsible for the Longford plant’s low carbon dioxide emissions. Emissions from the biomass are just 215 tonnes per year - about the same as 12 average Australian households.
“In contrast, a conventional natural gas kiln of the same capacity could emit approximately 8,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases,” he added.

The certification under the Carbon Neutral Program measures all emission contributors, such as raw material extraction, onsite transport, product deliveries across Australia and internationally, water usage, packaging, waste and business operations – not just kiln emissions.

“The successful carbon neutral certification has been partly achieved through a rigorous ongoing program of energy efficiency improvements to manufacturing and associated operations.” Mr Mouzakis said.

All remaining greenhouse gas emissions are offset by purchasing carbon credits in Tasmanian projects, like tree planting under the Forests Alive program.

“We are totally committed to conserving our natural resources and becoming a low carbon emitter, while not compromising on the high quality of our products,” he added.

Clay bricks are already renowned for their long life and high thermal mass, which makes them a smart choice in an energy efficient building design. Apart from being carbon neutral, bricks can also save homeowners up to 25 percent off their electricity bills.

Mr Mouzakis said “Architects, builders and home owners concerned with reducing their energy usage and carbon footprint should consider using bricks in the Daniel Robertson range. Bricks not only help regulate internal temperatures within a home to make it more comfortable, they are now certified as being good for the environment.
“This is just one more step in Brickworks Building Products journey towards becoming Australia’s most sustainable building products manufacturer” he concluded.
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