ACO have made remarkable achievements in sustainability over the last decade, showing our commitment to environmental and social change. By progressing along our sustainability journey we minimise our negative environmental impact, mitigate risks to our own operations through supply chain resilience, and attract like-minded people to join us.
Certifications & Standards:
ACO is steadfast in its commitment to diminishing its environmental footprint. By actively pursuing numerous environmental accreditations and standards, we ensure our operations manifest the pinnacle of responsibility. This dedication is not solely for our immediate benefit but extends to our stakeholders, supply chain, and the environment. With every step, ACO aims to lead its community and industry into a brighter, more sustainable future
BES 6001 Responsible Sourcing
ACO achieved a "very good" score for BES Responsible Sourcing certification, highlighting the extent of our commitment to responsible procurement, environmental efficiency, and continuous training. ACO have successfully streamlined sustainability and responsible sourcing throughout its operations and continues to evaluate and grow in this area.
- Employs a responsible sourcing policy, assessing risks and opportunities in procurement and incorporating sustainability in their supply chain.
- ISO 14001 accreditation, decarbonisation strategy, carbon intensity reduction and recycling performance exemplifies our commitment to reducing environmental impact.
- Committed to stewardship and lawful operation. ACO have robust management systems and rigorously adhere to health, safety, environmental, and quality regulations.
- Prioritises employee training in sustainability principles, responsible sourcing, health and wellbeing and promotes continuous learning and development.
- Maintains a strong bond with the local community, providing education outreach, and supporting local initiatives.
- Ensure our corporate values of ambition, collaboration, originality, honesty, integrity, and respect underpin all business operations.
ISO certifications play a vital role in ensuring the quality, health and safety, and environmental performance of organisations. At ACO, these certifications reflect our commitment to excellence, employee well-being, and environmental sustainability.
- ISO 9001 Quality Management: This certification focuses on quality management systems, ensuring that ACO consistently delivers products and services that meet customer requirements.
- ISO 45001 Health and Safety Management: Health and safety is a top priority for ACO. This certification establishes the framework for an effective occupational health and safety management system, enabling us to identify and mitigate risks, prioritize employee well-being, and provide a safe working environment.
- ISO 14001 Environmental Management: Environmental sustainability is a core value for ACO. This certification validates our effective environmental management system, emphasizing our commitment to minimising our environmental impact, reducing waste, conserving resources, and preventing pollution.
CEO Water Mandate
By endorsing the CEO Water Mandate, ACO demonstrates its commitment to the 6 core principles, fostering responsible water management practices across the business.
- Reduced overall water usage from direct operations by over 29.5% since 2015 through the implementation of water-efficient technologies and measures.
- Engages with suppliers to encourage sustainable water management practices in line with company policy and identify areas of water stress.
- Collaborates with leading organisations in the construction industry, such as the Supply Chain Sustainability School, to share best practices and promote water conservation.
- Actively participates in policy discussions and advocacy efforts to promote sustainable water management practices.
- Established partnerships with local communities to support water conservation and access to clean water.
- Publicly discloses its water usage and management practices to promote accountability and transparency in line with global reporting requirements.
Science Based Targets Initative
ACO have committed to decarbonise, aligning with the Scienced Based Targets initiative, using 2021 as a base year.
By 2030 ACO Technologies plc commits to:
- Continue sourcing 100% renewable electricity
- Reduce absolute scope 1 & 2 GHG emissions by 45%
- Reduce absolute scope 3 emissions from purchased goods and services, employee commuting and upstream and downstream transport and distribution by 25%
ACO were an inaugural member and the first manufacturer to join the CO2nstructZero programme, an initiative led by the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) that aims to drive the construction industry towards a net-zero carbon future through collaboration. ACO was awarded the status of business champions for its commitments to achieving net zero aligning with priorities of the initiative. ACO have continued to support the initiative and submit reports pertaining to our progress in the field.
- CO2nstructzero business champions
- Active participant in meetings
- Worked collaboratively with the Emerging leader programme
ACO is deeply invested in reducing carbon emissions, minimising waste, and championing water protection. This commitment is showcased in our products, designed to tackle climate change impacts such as increased rainfall. Our dedication extends to our daily operations, where we take a serious approach to environmental stewardship. Through a range of programmes and initiatives, we aim to become Carbon Net Zero by 2045.
ACO are committed to decarbonizing our business to align with Scienced Based targets, CO2nstructZero and UK Government Carbon Budgets Reduction targets.
So far we have achieved:
- 50% Reduction in scope 1 and 2 operational carbon (CO2e) between 2021 & 2022 verified by a 3rd party consultant.
- 68% Reduction in scope 1 and 2 operational (CO2e) between 2015 & 2022 verified by a 3rd party consultant.
- Carbon Neutral for scope 1 and 2 operational carbon using VCS & Gold Standard offsetting credits.
To address the climate crisis, ACO have implemented significant measures to minimise the carbon footprint throughout the product life cycle. Products incorporate recycled material and offer end-of-life recyclability. We have adopted a rigorous approach to reduce embedded carbon in specific materials and products.
- Appointed a third-party to conduct a comprehensive cradle-to-gate analysis on over 700 ACO products.
- Decreased energy intensity per kg of product by 71% since 2015.
- Achieved substantial reductions in embedded carbon in key materials and products, including;
- 25% CO2e reduction in Polymer Concrete since 2015
- 39% CO2e reduction in StormBrixx HD GF since 2015
- 34% CO2e reduction in Qmax bodies in 2023
- Design all products to either contain recycled materials and can be recycled at end-of-life.
- Incorporates life cycle thinking in design and manufacture, understanding the carbon implications.
Carbon Neutral Product Range
ACO have launched its pioneering 'Carbon Smart' range, featuring the ACO Qmax, the first product that attains carbon neutrality in manufacture, signifying a new era of sustainable production.
This is achieved by:
- Zero Carbon UK Manufacturing: Qmax components manufactured in the UK produce Zero Carbon in direct scope 1 and 2 emissions, lowering our environmental impact.
- Carbon Offsetting: ACO utilises VSC & Gold Standard offsetting credits for residual cradle to gate impacts, contributing to global carbon offset projects.
ACO has an enduring commitment to waste reduction, recycling, and material efficiency. Making significant strides in reducing the waste generated while incorporating reuse strategies within our operations and supply chain.
- ACO recycles over 81% of its office waste, with plans to enhance this rate further.
- ACO's manufacturing facilities generate less than 1% waste and 99% of this is either recycled back into internal processes or taken to certified recycling facilities.
- ACO recycles used PPE, including hard hats, using a third-party supplier.
Water Positive Initiative
ACO’s Water Positive assists in delivering sustainable water management for the built environment by demonstrating how caring for water can be achieved through 3 core project considerations: Design, Technology and Environment. This is scored against a project and allocated using badges to a project design.
Recognised where a project:
- Designed by ACO or by a client, contributes to managing water in a sustainable way.
- Incorporates ACO technology that contributes to managing water in a sustainable way.
- Designed by ACO or by a client, contributes to creating a sustainable environment.
Community & Outreach:
ACO is commited to fostering collaboration with communities, stakeholders, and our supply chain as we collectively stride towards a more sustainable future. Our array of initiatives underscores the importance of joint efforts and knowledge-sharing in championing both environmental protection and community enrichment. While a single individual can spark change, it's the collective strength of a community that truly drives it forward
Biodiversity - Habitat Matters
In a ground-breaking initiative called 'Habitat Matters', ACO partnered with 19 industry stakeholders to encourage the creation of resilient, nature-sensitive solutions for UK construction projects. This initiative features an engaging 8-part webinar and a 6-part podcast series, culminating in the Habitat Matters Mapping System. This system aims to connect individuals with the built environment and nature, thereby contributing to the social value of projects.
- Map their physical environment into a digital space for easy interaction.
- Connect with the digital environment using QR codes.
- Share their experiences and submit biodiversity observational data, contributing to national scientific efforts to protect biodiversity.
Training and Collaboration
ACO continually share best practices with others in the sector, delivering CPDSO accredited CPD’s to: customers, NGO's, affiliated organisations and government bodies. In addition, ACO collaborate with FutureBuild on the learning platform Colab and partner with the Supply Chain Sustainability School to share educational content.
- Over 600 hours of CPSO accredited CPD delivered to ACO customers in 2022.
- Over 19,400 views of Colab content viewed in 2022.
Supply Chain Sustainability School
ACO is a proud partner of the Supply Chain Sustainability School (SCSS), facilitating collaborative efforts within the industry towards a sustainable future. Through active participation in group activities, partnering to deliver content in 'Lunch n Learn' sessions, and contributions to learning documents. ACO is actively driving progress within the school.
- Regular participation in group activities within the Supply Chain Sustainability School.
- Partners in delivering educational content via SCSS 'Lunch n Learn' sessions.
- Makes active contributions to learning documents and participates in reviewing school content.
- Encourages its supply chain partners to join the school for wider sustainability impact.
ACO Nature Champions
At ACO, our 'Nature Champions' are a testament to our intrinsic commitment to biodiversity and the environment. Comprising passionate staff from ACO UK, this new committee is dedicated to fostering a harmonious relationship between our manufacturing sites and the local ecosystems. Not only do they spearhead initiatives that promote biodiversity within our operational domains, but they also extend their expertise to assist local communities with projects that champion environmental conservation and regeneration. Their role is pivotal in ensuring that ACO's footprint is not only light but also beneficial for the nature that surrounds us.
So far they have:
- Installed various wildlife friendly solutions on our Shefford site
- Got hands on by aiding a recent charity project for a newly built sensory garden
Read more about our sustainability strategy and the initatives that we are involved in to achieve a net zero carbon future.