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dev banc
26 June 2024
Manufacturing

North Wales Manufacturer ‘Leading the Way’ by Targeting Net Zero Alongside Growth

A North Wales roofing materials company has been praised for showing ‘real industry leadership’ in prioritising the environment alongside business growth.

The Flint-based Roberts Group’s products are in use on the roofs of the new Wembley Stadium, Wimbledon and New York’s Empire State Building.

The family business was set up more than 40 years ago to make and supply roofing materials and has seen its turnover increase by 88% since 2020. The firm is also on course to reach Net Zero by 2050.

Ashley Rogers, Chief Executive of the North Wales Business Council which runs the North Wales Net Zero Network, visited the firm’s factory and said:

“What the Roberts Group are doing is really impressive. They are growing their business substantially whilst reducing their environmental impact at the same time. That’s real industry leadership from a family business based in North Wales.

“They do have a long-term goal, which is important to aim for but they are delivering every day on that goal. It’s not just promises and pledges.

“They are making continual improvements that benefit both the bottom line and the environment. Focusing on the circular economy and Net Zero is at the core of what they do.”

Andrew Roberts, the firm’s Head of Sustainability, is the third generation of the family in the business, which employs 110 staff.

He said:

“We were originally founded in1984 as Polyroof focusing on liquid roofing materials for garages and extensions and since then the Roberts Group has come a long way.

“We now waterproof large commercial buildings that span tens of thousands of square metres, and we have also branched out into the merchant market with our Restec products.

“We have always been very committed to research and development to make our products and even run a training and research centre here at Flint.

“In the last few years though, we have really focused on reducing the environmental impact of both our operations and finished products. Since 2021 we have reduced our electrical usage by a total of 8,740 kilowatt hours and our gas usage by 46%, saving emissions equivalent of 28-tonnes of carbon.

“We are marrying business growth to sustainability growth and we are working with universities in North Wales and the North West to see how we can further develop that sustainability.

“I was brought in to lead this three years ago when we highlighted that sustainability was to become high profile and we wanted to ensure we were doing our bit and at the same time position ourselves to maximise opportunity.

“We have now made it a key focus of our business and want to lead the industry.

“Within the next year we should have solar panels on the roofs and we have already eliminated waste to landfill from the site.

“Beyond that we are working with the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre Cymru in Broughton to monitor and analyse our electricity usage, so that we can plan our most energy-intensive activity to be timed to coincide with high levels of green electrical power.

“These steps are just the tip of the iceberg as we move towards Net Zero and are just part of our plans.

“We have achieved a lot so far just by picking off the low-hanging fruit and it’s saved us money as well and the real challenge lies ahead but we’re confident.

“We’re moving towards a carbon-based economy. People don’t need just to worry how much something costs in pounds but they need to count the cost in carbon as well.

“Decarbonising this site is important but what’s really important is decarbonising our products which means looking at our whole supply chain.”

The next meeting of the Net Zero North Wales Network, which was set up to help businesses in the region chart a path to a carbon-free future, takes place at Venue Cymru, Llandudno on Wednesday, July 10, at 12.30pm.

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