Modular building specialist Integra invests to cut carbon footprint in on-site sustainability drive

Integra Buildings Managing Director Chris Turner, left, and CEO Gary Parker at the company’s site in East Yorkshire.

Modular building specialist Integra Buildings has announced a £1m programme of investment at its East Yorkshire site to reduce the carbon footprint of its operations.

Integra is driving down emissions at its headquarters in Paull, East Yorkshire, with an ambition to become a carbon neutral business by 2038.

Integra manufactures a range of bespoke, high-quality modular buildings at the Paull site, with a workforce of more than 160 people and a UK-wide client base spanning sectors including sport, leisure, education, healthcare and commercial.

Key sustainability projects on site include the installation of more than 70 rooftop solar panels on Integra’s office building, with a further 150 panels fitted to one of the factory units.

Integra has also reduced the volume of waste leaving its site by almost 20 per cent, thanks to a compactor which cuts the number of lorry trips to the processing facility and saves on carbon emissions.

As well as a series of infrastructure improvements, Integra also continues to invest in its people, helping them gain new industry qualifications and accreditations around sustainability and environmental good practice.

The business has also secured ISO 14001 Environmental Management accreditation – an internationally-recognised environmental management standard – as it sets out a roadmap to carbon neutrality.

Integra CEO Gary Parker said: “We’ve done a huge amount of work to firstly understand our carbon footprint and then identify the priority areas and key actions we can take to become more sustainable.

“The work we’ve done on site so far has already had a positive impact, but we’re far from finished and we’re committed to continuing to invest as a business in sustainability.

“Construction companies like us face significant challenges in reducing their emissions and becoming carbon neutral, but we’ve taken significant steps forward and we’re committed to working with our suppliers, clients and partners to share ideas and help each other on the decarbonisation pathway.”

The first phase of Integra’s solar installation saw 72 panels on the roof of the office building expected to reduce annual energy bills by over £80,000.

Since then, an additional 150 panels have been fitted to the roof of one of Integra’s factory units. The two installations combined will generate close to 200,000KW of clean electricity every year.

Previously, Integra’s waste was collected as one and taken by waste management business Biffa to be processed off site. Today, waste is separated into three categories – timber, plastics and other recyclables.

With the investment in a new £35,000 compactor, general waste is crushed to reduce the number of lorry trips required to take surplus materials off site.

In its first month of operation, the compactor reduced general waste by 18 per cent compared to the same month the previous year.

All of the modular buildings Integra manufactures are 100 per cent re-usable, and can be relocated from site to site as required.

Should the building ever be disassembled, timber and steel products can be easily recycled.

Modular construction produces less waste than traditional methods and, at Integra’s headquarters, steel, timber, plasterboard, cardboard and copper wire are all separated and recycled.

Integra also plans to integrate a rainwater capture system on site, with a variety of uses including testing modular units to ensure they are water-tight and flushing toilets across the site.

Office and factory buildings feature PIR motion and LED lighting to reduce energy consumption and the company’s target is for the site to be self-sufficient in electricity generation.

Other sustainability projects include switching the company’s vehicle fleet to electric and hybrid and installing electric vehicle charging stations on site.

Simon McGeachy, SHEQ (Safety, Health, Environment and Quality) Manager at Integra, said: “Our sustainability work also extends into the local community. We’ve been supporting the Humber Wood Recycling Project for a number of years, donating our surplus wood which is used to create outdoor furniture for Dove House Hospice.

“We’ve also donated to local allotments, invited primary school pupils onto our site to make their own wooden benches for their playground.

“In addition, we have switched to a local cleaning company for the washing of our factory clothing. As well as supporting a local business, this reduces emissions from travel to and from the site.”

Reducing what are referred to as scope one emissions – that is emissions produced directly by a company – is the first step towards achieving carbon neutral status.

Integra is carrying out further work to understand its scope two and three emissions, including those produced throughout its supply chain and operations off site.

Integra’s environmental approach is to only consider carbon offsetting – a process of countering harmful emissions by planting trees, creating green spaces, installing renewable energy systems among other measures – as a last option where there is no possible outcome of achieving net zero.

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