Following World Environment Day at the weekend, the Joseph Ash Group has designated the first week of June to be ‘ESG Week’. During this week, we’re raising awareness of the environment and social and governance issues affecting our colleagues, clients, and suppliers.
This is the first year for our new annual event, and so far this week, we’ve delivered presentations on ‘What is ESG?’. We’ve also provided resources (posters and links to activities) to team members to help them understand some of the terminology used (e.g. ‘Carbon Neutral’, ‘Net Zero’, ‘Carbon Offsetting’). Plus, we’ve shared advice on being more energy, waste and water conscious both at work and at home.
Later this week, we’ll be conducting safety tours to reinforce the importance of health and safety in the workplace.
Here are some of the important topics we’re covering:
If you want to know more about ESG across the Joseph Ash Group (Joseph Ash Galvanizing and Premier Galvanizing), please get in touch. We’d love to tell you all about it!Next page
Great news! Joseph Ash Galvanizing has been awarded ISO14001, the international standard for designing and implementing an environmental management system.
An environmental management system, often called an EMS, comprises the policies, processes, plans, practices, and records that define the rules governing how a company interacts with the environment.
Preventing companies from causing negative impacts on the environment are two of the most critical challenges facing businesses today. Achieving the ISO14001 standard shows we’re amongst the world’s businesses that care enough about the background to reduce our environmental footprint.
Congratulations to all our team members for achieving this latest standard!
Michael Worth, Head of Technical and ESG at Joseph Ash Galvanizing said “Everyone should be incredibly proud of their contributions to this achievement. This clearly demonstrates that our approach to managing our environmental impacts and our strategy to maximise environmental opportunities are on the right trajectory to delivering continual improvement in this area.”
See some of the steps we take to minimise our impact on the environment in our Green Future plan.Next page
As sustainability and good emission management are critical drivers for Joseph Ash Galvanizing, we always try to look for suppliers with like-minded responsible approaches to the environment.
Kall Kwik Birmingham is one of our suppliers, and we were proud to welcome them into our vendor family three years ago, as their green initiatives are admirable.
In 2019 Kall Kwik Birmingham joined Carbon Capture®, a unique market-leading, high impact, low-cost environmental initiative that creates new native woodland in the UK.
Through their involvement with Carbon Capture®, Kall Kwik enables all customers who order paper/print from them to capture the CO2 emissions from their purchases by planting native woodland through the Woodland Trust and the Woodland Carbon Scheme.
What is Carbon Capture®?
Woodland Carbon and The Woodland Trust
Since joining Carbon Capture in 2019, Kall Kwik Birmingham has captured over 8500 tonnes of CO2, equating to about 210 sqm of new native woodland – roughly 35 trees!
Dene Sproson from Kall Kwik said:
“This is a fantastic achievement. Kall Kwik Birmingham and our clients should not underestimate this contribution. Whether it be 30 trees, three trees, or 3,000 trees we have helped to plant, our combined contribution to the overall programme is massive!
The critical thing we feel is that Kall Kwik Birmingham and our clients have committed to Carbon Capture®, helping to plant trees and further promote the initiative, which overall contributes to the government’s targets and commitments to NET-ZERO!”
Welcome to the Joseph Ash family Kall Kwik Birmingham. We look forward to a long relationship with you – and to planting more trees!Next page
The British Constructional Steelwork Association has recently published the first edition of their sustainability specification for structural steelwork. Titled the ‘National structural steelwork specification for building construction’, it includes guidance on both the sustainable design and sustainable fabrication of structural steelwork. For example information about the relevant Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) that need to be submitted for new steel products, steel procurement, project specifications requirements for sustainability, and guidance on reusing steel.
The publication is free to download from the BCSA website.Next page
2022 marks the dawn of a good year for Joseph Ash Bilston. Not only have they opened a new office building at the plant, but they’ve also become ISO 14001 certified. Find out more!
Joseph Ash Bilston has been going from strength to strength over the last few years, and growth meant the need for a new office building.
The office building houses our team members who look after sales, the management of the plant, and accounts. But unfortunately, they had outgrown the space, and the facilities were dated.
When the plant drew up plans for a new office, it was also an excellent opportunity to ensure a new build would be as green as possible. As a result, a state-of-the-art environmentally friendly building was designed. The building work took place in the second half of 2021, finishing just before Christmas.
Joseph Ash team members moved in at the beginning of January and are pleased with the new facilities. Not only do they have more space, but there are also some environmental features to be proud of:
The building now has fantastic solar panels that will harness greener energy. PV means photovoltaic – a way to convert sunlight into electricity.
Solar panels are great, but it’s not always sunny in Bilston! Not a problem, though, as there are solar storage systems in place to provide energy on even the greyest days. Not only a green initiative but also cost-saving for heating costs.
Traditional radiators may soon be a thing of the past, as they primarily heat the air in a space. Instead, Bilston’s new radiant heating panels radiate, heating the solid objects in areas such as people and furniture. In addition, zero gas is required to heat the building, and there’s a supplementary electric boiler supplied from solar power when needed.
Bilston’s new windows further reduce energy costs by delivering thermal insulation and lowering the demand for artificial lighting, air conditioning and heating.
The environmental initiatives have ensured the new office building is carbon neutral, helping Bilston maintain its status as the greenest Galvanizer in the UK.
We’re pleased to announce that Joseph Ash Bilston has recently become ISO 14001 Environmental Management certified. ISO 14001 certifies that Bilston has:
Joseph Ash Bilston and the entire Joseph Ash Group is delighted with the certification as part of our sustainability mission. Bilston is also proud to claim that they are now the greenest galvanizer in the UK.Next page
As the steel construction industry moves to net-zero carbon by 2050, embracing the ideals expressed at COP26, Joseph Ash is playing its part.
Some of our decarbonisation initiatives include minimising energy usage, reusing waste heat to warm pre-treatment tanks, and improving burner efficiency. Plant emissions are also carefully controlled to ensure neighbouring communities are not adversely affected.
Our latest carbon reduction project has changed the lighting at all plants and our Head Office to be more energy efficient.
In late 2021 we engaged MODO to replace all the high-powered traditional lighting at three sites with LED fittings and motion sensors.
For example, at our Chesterfield plant, MODO replaced over 300 light fittings. The company also installed motion sensors in low traffic areas, which power the lights on immediately when motion is detected, dimming down when the site is inactive and then powering off.
The switch to Modo LED also reduced the CO2 emissions by a massive 117 metric tonnes, equivalent to the average car driving 286,867 miles!
MODO carried out the same project at Premier Galvanizing Hull, plus our Head Office. (Other Joseph Ash Group plants were updated earlier.)
Please get in touch to find out more about carbon efficiency projects at Joseph Ash Galvanizing.
You can also see how we are committed to preventing pollution and minimising environmental impacts by viewing our Green Plan interactive infographic, newly published on our website.Next page
Galvanized steel is an integral part of everyday life and is all around us. But how does its prevalence today affect the environment of the future? How sustainable is it? What role does it play in the circular economy? And is the galvanizing process itself environmentally friendly?
Steel is essential for housing, infrastructure, transport, manufacturing, and agriculture. Used as frames for our buildings, safety on our roads, and support for the bridges we cross, we must never waste the resources used to produce it by throwing it away when the original function is no longer valid. Instead, we must repurpose steel, especially if the world wants to move away from traditional business models of use-throw-away-remake to a more environmentally friendly, sustainable circular economy that aims to eliminate waste and repurpose resources.
A circular economy encourages materials to be made, used, reused, remade, and recycled.
Hot dip galvanizing fits perfectly into a circular economy because it optimises the durability of steel (enabling it to be used again) and facilitates the ease of reuse. It can be recycled if there’s no immediate need to repurpose it. Here’s how:
When steel is galvanized, it is immersed in a bath of molten zinc, where it alloys with the iron in the steel to form zinc/iron alloy layers. These layers form the basis of the coating, which is covered with free zinc as the steel lifts from the galvanizing bath. The result is a robust, durable, corrosion-protective finish that will last many years.
Without a galvanized coating, steel would corrode, and its lifespan would be short. However, with a galvanized coating, steel can last between 34 and 170 years before the base steel is exposed. This means that steel can be used for the original purpose for which it was fabricated, and – once the project is dismantled – the steel is still good enough to be used elsewhere.
Facilitating ease of reuse
Once a structure – such as a house or fencing – reaches its end of life, the steel can easily be repurposed if it has been hot dip galvanized. The galvanized coating protects the steel from impact and abrasion when disassembled and reassembled.
Finally, galvanized steel fits nicely into a circular economy because it can be melted and used repeatedly without losing quality if there is no immediate need for repurposing.
The zinc coating can also be reused. Zinc and steel are recycled in well-established steel recycling processes. The zinc particulates are returned, without loss of properties, to zinc production plants, where they are incorporated into zinc ingots and reused in the galvanizing process.
A hot dip galvanized finish gives steel a long life and durability. In addition, it creates a maintenance-free finish, which lessens the carbon emissions usually associated with the upkeep of non-galvanized steel.
Mick Jackson from Joseph Ash Galvanizing says: “Imagine a bridge made from non-galvanized steel. It would need maintenance every year to protect it from rust and corrosion. It would also need repainting at regular intervals. This requires paint, a workforce, transport for the workers and a means to protect the land or water below from paint contamination. This maintenance is not required if the same bridge is made from galvanized steel, therefore carbon emissions are greatly lessened.”
Galvanizing plants are self-contained, with steel going in at one end and the final product coming out at the other.
Modern galvanizing plants also use zinc very efficiently throughout the galvanizing process. For example, excess metal from the dipping process deposits back into the galvanizing bath. Zinc that oxidises on the surface is removed as ash and recycled, and dross from the bottom of the bath is routinely removed and has a high recycling value.
Other process consumables, such as hydrochloric acid and flux solutions, have important recycling or regeneration routes. Spent hydrochloric acid solutions are used to produce iron chloride for treating municipal wastewater, for example. Closed-loop flux recycling is also used in many plants, and improved monitoring and maintenance of flux tanks reduce the volume of solids for disposal. Compared to other coating technologies galvanizing uses low volumes of water, with plants rarely discharging wastewater. Any wastewater generated can be treated and reused, with only small volumes of stable solids requiring external disposal.
While not considered a particularly energy-intensive sector, the galvanizing industry also has set targets for energy efficiency and improved energy management. New technology has seen improvements in burner efficiency, bath lid efficiency, and reuse of waste heat to warm pre-treatment tanks. Plant emissions are also carefully controlled to ensure neighbouring communities are not adversely affected.
Steven Hopkins, Managing Director at Joseph Ash Galvanizing, said: “We count ourselves fortunate to be involved with such a sustainable product, playing, as it does, a critical role in extending the life of steel structures by decades. In addition, reducing our environmental impact has been close to our hearts for many years, hence our heavy investment in fume capture and recycling by-products.”
We firmly believe in a circular economy, where the needs of present-day society are met, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.”
Please get in touch to find out more about galvanized steel or the sustainability processes at Joseph Ash.
You can view the new EGGA guide – ‘Galvanized Steel and Sustainable Construction: Solutions for a Circular Economy’ here.Next page