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Decarbonisation – the biggest change for steel in our lifetime

Barrett Steel’s dedicated port facility and processing hub at Shoreham.

Barrett Steel, a company that has supported the UK structural steel sector for many years, is committed to achieving net zero by 2035.

Throughout our long history, Barrett Steel have been proud of the role we play in supporting the UK structural steel sector with our market-leading products and services.

In 2023, we have witnessed an acceleration in efforts to decarbonise and, at the start of the year, we launched our Barrett Green Solutions initiative.

Our path to 2035: meeting challenges with opportunities
The Barrett Green Solutions isn’t a mere buzzword. It’s our roadmap, meticulously crafted over years, guiding us to our 2035 net zero commitment. Embracing collaboration and transparency, we have engaged comprehensively with the supply chain, government entities, and industry affiliates. Such alliances allow us to stay ahead, anticipating client needs and understanding upcoming legislation, including changes to building regulations concerning embodied carbon targets and the EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM). Our proactive approach has empowered our steelwork contractor clients, positioning them as trusted advisors in a rapidly evolving supply chain to ensure that steel remains the product of choice for construction.

A dynamic approach to supporting our industry
We aren’t just waiting for tomorrow’s innovations; we’re making change happen today. While emergent technologies like carbon capture and storage, and green hydrogen are indeed game changers for the future, Barrett Steel offers immediate solutions.

Whilst these new technologies will prove vital to the UK achieving its net zero legal commitments in the coming decades, we have developed our current range to be able to offer steel made by blast furnace, electric arc furnace and even 100% recycled and renewably produced material, from stock.

Our Barrett Green Solutions ‘whole of market’ offering allows us to take a blended supply approach to mix manufacturers, products, and grades on projects, even on those with the most stringent of embodied carbon restrictions.

We believe that we need strong and viable domestic steel producers, alongside our European mill supply chain, to ensure continued innovation and competitiveness. We have been delighted to see mill decarbonisation initiatives and investment announcements in recent weeks and we will continue to support our domestic mill producers, as they transition towards carbon neutral production.

Continuous improvement.
Our market-leading stock range enables many of our clients to buy hollow sections, beams, columns, and channels together with minimal waste. As part of our initiative, we recognise the need to minimise the number of journeys made by our fleet, to reduce transport CO₂ emissions. All of our fleet now meets the Euro VI standard, and we are currently trialling a fleet of electric articulated and rigid vehicles to lower transport emissions even further. An additional benefit of our recent investment in our Scunthorpe hub sites has resulted in us being able to offer multi-product deliveries, safely loaded in lotted format.

This enables customers to offload less trucks, increases client efficiencies and move material into production faster than ever before.

Barrett Steel was the first UK steel stockholder to join the #SteelZero initiative.

Embodied carbon reporting.
Our Barrett Green Steel Reporting Solution simplifies embodied carbon reporting, empowering designers and steelwork contractors in erecting sustainable infrastructure. As the industry’s focus sharpens on carbon-efficient designs, our reporting tool offers invaluable insights, highlighting actual carbon values, intelligent design decisions, and savings achieved.

Requests for reductions in embodied carbon on steel superstructures will become more frequent as the industry strives to shift the peak towards improving the carbon efficiency with better building design and our itemised embodied carbon reporting frees our clients to focus on fabrication.

Just specifying one manufacturing route over another simply limits availability, reduces design options and ultimately risks competitiveness. Instead, we believe the value lies in the actual carbon values, report collation, smart design choices and a more blended approach.

“Through our carbon reporting tool, we can not only show the embodied carbon, including all transportation CO₂, but also be able to report on the overall carbon saved on each complete project and this year we will have removed around 300,000 tonnes of embodied carbon from UK construction projects!” says Barrett Steel Group Commercial Director for Low Embodied Carbon Tony Corrie.

Last year, Barrett Steel had the honour of being the first UK steel stockholder to join The Climate Group’s #SteelZero initiative, and in doing this joined key steel industry partners in a commitment to procure 100% net zero steel by 2050. In line with our Barrett Green Solutions initiatives, we also announced our strategy to be a net zero carbon business by 2035. The building of our 200,000 sq. ft Groveport distribution site in 100% recycled and renewably produced material just accentuates the Groups commitment to the environment and its net zero carbon goals. These goals can be seen in action across the business, from the complete transfer to LED lighting to the sustained investment in an electric material handling fleet with the aim of being 100% electric by 2030.

Talk to your account manager or contact for more information on how we can support your next carbon restricted project.

Barrett Steel
is a headline sponsor of
Steel for Life

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