Why SFS is counting carbon for a better future

World leading manufacturer and distributor of carbon stainless steel fastening systems - SFS are now tracking how much carbon is embedded in their products throughout its journey to creation. With sustainability being the word on everyone’s lips after COP 26, Andrew Stolworthy from SFS explains how the company plans to do this. 

For companies like SFS Sustainability is vital for its customers such as architects and specifiers. New buildings in the process of construction will stand for generations and the choice of what products to use is critical to the future of this sector. This is particularly acute when it comes to the amount of embodied carbon in building products.

What is embodied carbon? 

Embodied carbon refers to all the carbon produced during the product’s life – which isn’t always easy to determine. A lot of the carbon you can’t see is locked in products, buildings and infrastructure.

When calculating embodied carbon, it’s important to consider the carbon footprint of manufacturing processes, as well as the materials used to create the product. Carbon emissions from the production of raw materials are part of the equation, as are those from shipping and transportation. In some cases, even assembling the parts into a finished product contributes to that product’s carbon footprint.

GHG emissions from the built environment can be divided into two categories: operational carbon – attributed to operational energy consumption during the building’s lifetime – and embodied carbon. Approximately 40% of energy-related GHG emissions are driven by generating buildings, while 11% is generated from manufacturing materials, according to the Carbon Leadership Forum.

How is SFS making a difference? 

SFS has signed up to the BRE’s EPD scheme – as well as being part of the UN Global Compact and supporting the principle of introducing Approved Documents to cap embodied carbon emissions on all major construction projects.

Andrew Stolworthy, Director of Product and Market Development, from SFS says: “We are now implementing the BRE’s online measuring tool, LINA, which gives us access to best-in-class EPD methodology. This ensures there is a hard scientific basis behind the calculations of embodied carbon, bringing transparency back into the supply chain, as well as driving product innovation making more sustainable choices. We are currently in the process of getting our NVELOPE® subframe systems verified and will then roll out to other SFS products.Architects and specifiers want only the best for their buildings – and any definition of “best” must include sustainability.” 

Andrew continued:

“Whether by helping those architects and specifiers to make more informed choices today, or by challenging ourselves to think differently about how we source, manufacture and transport products, we’re excited by the possibilities. We are invested in knowing where our products go and how they interact throughout the whole lifecycle of the building – and, consequently, to see how we can make positive changes, even small ones, that will impact on the built environment. At SFS, we believe in securing futures. After all, today’s building plans are tomorrow’s homes, offices, shops, hotels and hospitals. To secure those futures, the work starts right now.”

To find out more head to https://uk.sfs.com

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