More than just a roofing manufacturer: Our mission to protect what matters

With a growing emphasis on reducing environmental impact, improving energy efficiency and delivering social value, the opportunity to achieve positive change through raising Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) standards has never been greater.

As a responsible UK manufacturer of roofing, waterproofing and insulation products, we recognise that there are things we have to do to ensure we remain compliant with the necessary standards and regulations. However, it’s the things we want to do that have the potential to make the biggest difference.

From manufacturing processes and sourcing of raw materials to protecting the safety of contractors and installers on site and maintaining the longevity of buildings, we are acutely aware of and aim to improve our environmental impact and social value.

We have introduced a range of initiatives to work towards achieving our ESG goals, whether that’s carbon offsetting, installing bug hotels, mental health support or sustainable manufacturing processes – but we know that meaningful progress requires collective effort.

That’s why we work closely with our employees, customers, contractor network and local communities to ensure we’re protecting what matters to them most.

This is the story of our journey so far and why we’re committed to championing the benefits of UK manufacturing for the construction industry.

Manufactured in the UK. Made for the future

In 2020, the UK manufacturing industry produced 78.4 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.[1] While progress has been made in decarbonising the industry (emission levels have reduced by more than half since 1990) there is still a long way to go to reach the government’s Net Zero 2050 targets.

We’ve made significant strides towards sustainable practices across our UK manufacturing sites at Grangemill, Clay Cross and Appley Bridge, committing to a programme of continuous improvements to ways of working, manufacturing technologies and initiatives to reduce, reuse and recycle materials

For example, all of our sites now run on renewable energy, and our waste policy means that 98% of all our waste is diverted from landfill. Where possible, we also source our raw materials locally (currently approx. 80%) and because our manufacturing is UK based, CO2 emissions from transportation sites and distribution depots remain low.

In fact, a recent traceability study revealed our localised production processes incurred average mileage of 263 miles – a fraction of the distance it would take to procure products from Europe or beyond.

To continue to drive these ongoing improvements, we established our Green Team in 2021. With a passion for protecting what matters, the Green Team created a five-year plan to continue our sustainability journey.

Planned activity ranges from smaller, soft initiatives to major investments, but all are rooted in the same purpose – to reduce our environmental impact and address the issues that are important to our internal and external stakeholders.

Helping to decarbonise communities and industry

For the past 15 years, IKO has worked with the gold standard carbon management company CO2balance, which runs energy-smart projects in Africa. Money raised through a system of self-imposed levies are used to help support a range of environmental initiatives, such as providing energy efficient cooking stoves to Kenyan communities and fresh water bore hole projects in Uganda.

The latest results show that IKO offset 8,892 tonnes of CO2 through these projects in just one year. Since 2015, IKO has offset 18,156 tonnes of CO2. It’s these kinds of initiatives – where you can see the tangible difference it makes to people’s lives – that leave a lasting impression and inspire us to do more.

As an official partner of the Supply Chain Sustainability School, IKO works closely with industry leaders to inspire and advise on more environmentally-conscious operations in the construction industry.

Building on our own efforts to be a responsible manufacturer, we’re dedicated to raising the bar in sustainable industry practices, through increasing awareness, educating our people, promoting best practice, and sharing knowledge.

Growing our sustainable portfolio

To support our customers in meeting their sustainability targets, our R&D and product development teams are continuing to build our innovation pipeline of environmentally friendly, sustainably sourced products. For example, IKO Carrara is an innovative ecological roofing membrane, manufactured using a significant percentage of recycled materials.

The membrane acts as a catalyst and converts harmful gases into environmentally neutral substances, helping to improve air quality. We also use recycled content across several products including IKO Hyload, a compliant and sustainable DPC system, which is made up of a minimum of 75% recycled content from the manufacture of IKO Polymeric single ply.

Manufactured at our Grangemill facility in Derbyshire, IKO Permascreed, a quick laying mastic asphalt screed, contains at least 30% recycled materials. To give customers visibility of the environmental impact of a product over its expected lifetime, we provide Environmental Product Declarations for our products.

Longevity is one of our values and all of our systems come with an IKO-backed guarantee. This gives our customers the peace of mind they need for the duration of a project and beyond, while demonstrating our commitment to the future performance of our products and the buildings they are designed to protect.

We’re also proud to have achieved ISO14001 Environmental Management Systems and BES 6001 Standard for all IKO sites, which demonstrates that our products have been manufactured using responsibly sourced materials and reassures our customers of the social and environmental performance of their chosen products.

Battersea Power Station: a case study in best of British

The Battersea Power Station project is a good example of collaboration to ensure a sympathetic and sustainable roofing installation. BriggsAmasco delivered a multiple-application waterproofing programme as part of the regeneration project.

A system was developed to re-waterproof the station’s Grade II-listed white chimneys, which were taken down and rebuilt in identical fashion.

IKO Permaphalt, a polymer modified mastic asphalt solution offering durability, increased fatigue resistance and improved temperature stability, was specified for the project rather than lead and a mastic asphalt solution was designed to waterproof and line a Peregrine Falcon’s nest, providing the resident birds with a permanent home within the chimneys.

In addition, 8000m2 of the IKO Permatec hot applied waterproofing membrane was installed using BriggsAmasco’s own fleet of zero-emission plant and inverted insulation and sedum green roofs were installed across the project. The waterproofing programme’s carbon-friendly aspect was bolstered by the use of locally-sourced products, 99.9% of which were manufactured in the UK.

Investing in people and enriching communities

Nurturing future talent is crucial to maintaining the lifeblood of the construction industry. Our apprenticeship scheme is aimed at encouraging new starters into the industry and giving them the opportunity to gain valuable experience working across our manufacturing sites.

With six apprenticeships in engineering and production completed in the past two years and 10 live apprenticeships across engineering, production and business development, we’re proud to be building a workforce of the future.

Another key focus area has been implementing our mental health strategy to support the wellbeing of our team. Centred around three core pillars – promote, prevent and protect – we have put initiatives in place to ensure we are creating a safe environment to encourage open, honest conversations and offer support to those who may be struggling.

Our ambition to build a legacy we can be proud of extends to the local communities around us. One of the initiatives we’re most proud of is our Fix That Hut scheme. Launched in 2006, the scheme repairs roofs of local community buildings using free waterproofing materials, all of which are donated by IKO.

The aim is to preserve and restore these special meeting places, offering residents and community members a space to come together.

Looking to the future, taking action today

Our mission to protect what matters is driven by the needs of our people and the planet. We make it our priority to understand our customers’ own ESG goals and work closely with them to make them a reality.

While we’ve made good progress so far, we know that we’re only just getting started and that’s an exciting prospect for us all. As a UK manufacturer, we believe it is our responsibility to champion sustainable manufacturing practices and improve lives today and safeguard our future.

To find out more about our commitment to protecting what matters, visit

Anthony Carlyle, Managing Director at IKO PLC

[1] Statista, Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the manufacturing industry in the United Kingdom (UK) from 1990 to 2020

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