The materials supplier has announced two major developments in product innovation and sustainability.

Leading hard landscaping and building materials supplier Marshalls plc has announced details of two innovative projects helping it accelerate sustainability plans.

Following announcements of a trial last summer, Marshalls has become the first precast concrete manufacturer in the UK to use CarbonCure technology, a process which permanently locks captured carbon into concrete.

The innovative technology is being used on facing bricks manufactured at the Marshalls plant in Grove, South Wales where around 50 million bricks are made each year. The carbon is injected into the brick during the manufacturing process and it has no impact on its performance or appearance.

Nick Jowett, Technical Director at Marshalls, said: "We’re continually testing and trialling product and manufacturing innovations, and to be able to introduce something which also has a sustainability benefit is a double win.

"While our customers will see no difference in our products' look and performance, we expect that, from this manufacturing site alone, we’ll prevent 30 tonnes of carbon from entering the atmosphere every year. This is the equivalent of driving a family car nearly five and a half times around the world.”

CarbonCure is a climate tech company offering a suite of technologies that reduce and remove carbon dioxide across the concrete manufacturing process. CarbonCure’s technologies inject CO2 directly into concrete as it is being mixed.

The CO2 immediately reacts with cement in the mix and mineralises to create calcium carbonate (CaCO3). Once the CO2 is mineralised, it is permanently locked into the concrete forever — never to be released into the atmosphere, even if the concrete is demolished.

Another project set to support Marshalls in its sustainability mission, and transform the carbon footprint of a much-specified material is the development of cement-free concrete.

Marshalls’ technical experts have been working on several avenues for this for some time, and late last year, the company produced its first full-scale production run of cement-free concrete blocks.

Michael Edwards, Group Head of Sustainability at Marshalls, said: “Cement can account for over 80% of the total carbon footprint of a concrete product, so it’s no surprise that customers have been asking for cement-free materials for a while.

"However, as a business known for its high-quality materials, we need to ensure that in removing the cement, we’re not compromising on the quality, appearance or longevity of our products - so we’re refining the materials and process before a full launch later in 2023.”

Louise Furness, Chief People and ESG Officer at Marshalls, added: “Our approach to sustainability is based on strong foundations, and we’re continually adapting how we work to reduce our environmental impact, from our fleet and energy choices to how we package our products.

"Our adoption of CarbonCure technology and advances into cement-free materials are helping us to accelerate plans and support our customers to deliver more sustainable projects and developments.”