Inaugural conference puts focus on net zero projects in the ceramics sector

Posted on 4 Dec 2022 by The Manufacturer

Decarbonisation projects and initiatives took centre stage at the inaugural ‘Delivering Net Zero for British Ceramics’ conference, hosted by the British Ceramic Confederation.

The conference aimed to promote and celebrate industry best practice, research and collaboration, while focusing on decarbonisation initiatives that are crucial in helping the ceramic sector on its journey to net zero.

Around 150 delegates from across the ceramics industry and its stakeholders attended the event, held at Keele Hall, Staffordshire.

British Ceramic Confederation Chief Executive Rob Flello opened the inaugural ‘Delivering Net Zero for British Ceramics’ conferenceing, which was held in Stoke-on-Trent

British Ceramic Confederation Chief Executive Rob Flello opened the inaugural ‘Delivering Net Zero for British Ceramics’ conferenceing, which was held in Stoke-on-Trent

Rob Flello, Chief Executive of the British Ceramic Confederation, said: “This is our first conference to focus on decarbonisation and we are delighted that it has been so well received.

“It provided a great opportunity for people to network, share ideas and discuss collaborations and has showcased the exceptional work and investments companies are doing as the ceramic sector strives to do its bit in the push for net zero by 2050.”

Guest speakers included Dr Aaron Coater, of consultants Baringa, who focused on the UK efforts to tackle climate change, Jenni McDonnell MBE, from Innovate UK / KTN, who gave an in-depth look at industrial decarbonisation funding, and Rachel Armstrong, from the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, who gave a presentation about industrial decarbonisation policy developments.

BCC’s Industrial & Environmental Policy Manager Lee Brownsword gave an update on the sector support programme, British Ceramics: Towards Net Zero, while BCC’s Technical Director Dr Andrew McDermott was joined by Mark Dudson, from Lucideon, to provide an overview of hydrogen research tacking place. BCC member companies also gave a range of updates about their activities, progress and plans.

To recognise exemplary work, new Industry Decarbonisation awards have been introduced.  Joe Hudson, Chief Executive of Ibstock received Net Zero Business Advocate. Portmeirion took the Employee Engagement Award as well as one of the Decarbonisation in Action awards for Energy Efficiency and Carbon Reduction, with the other for Deeper Decarbonisation going to Johnson Tiles.

Two Special Recognition awards were presented to David Manley, Head of Sustainability at Forterra, and Michael McGowan, Group Sustainability Manager at Ibstock, for their contribution to ceramics decarbonisation.

Decarbonisation Trailblazer awards went to Michelmersh Brick Holdings and Forterra to recognise their progression of innovative decarbonisation technologies. Forterra also received recognition for Delivering Decarbonisation due to the range of projects and initiatives they are undertaking.

BCC Industrial & Environmental Policy Manager, Lee Brownsword added: “We thank our sponsors, speakers and exhibitors for their support in helping make the conference a success as we continue to work collaboratively in delivering net zero for British ceramics.”

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