Back to Sustainability

Sustainability Report 2021

By chris
Sustainability Report 2021

Chairman’s Summary

Welcome to the latest Brick Development Association sustainability report. This annual publication is an opportunity to review the collective progress in sustainable operations made by the UK’s brick manufacturing industry. It also focuses our attention on forthcoming challenges and the way in which we will approach them.

2020 is the last year that the BDA will be reporting against its current set of Key Performance Indicators and the industry is

well underway with finalising a set of KPIs for the next reporting period. An important part of this process has involved surveying our stakeholders to better understand the importance they place on the different areas.

Much has changed since the industry started reporting on the current KPIs in 2011 and during this decade sustainability has steadily moved up the agenda. One of the most consequential events was the UK becoming the first major economy to commit to net zero CO2 emission by 2050. The UK clay brick industry is determined to be a responsible stakeholder on this journey to net zero.

In addition to this there have been a number of other significant policy challenges and opportunities that the industry have had to negotiate, including Brexit and the Coronavirus pandemic. One of the exciting trends is the development of a more circular economy; the industry is currently working of its end of life guidance to better communicate how brick can be reused, reclaimed and recycled.


Our aspiration -

To ensure employee wellbeing remains core to business operations across the sector, through responsible health and safety practices. Specifically the provision of education and training to develop employees’ skills, and mental health support.

The Challenge -

Continual improvement in health and safety performance in a changing work and regulatory environment alongside which employers must train the workforce of the future and nurture existing talent. In 2020 there was the additional impact of the Covid-19 shutdown and changed factory operations to create Covid safe workplaces.

Key stats -

  • 139 apprentices in 2020, compared to 140 in 2019, despite the impact of covid.
  • In 2020, the sector Lost Time Injury Rate was 0.13*. In 2020, the Accident Rate was 0.32*.
  • In 2020, the RIDDOR Reportable Injury Rate was 0.03*.

Where we are now -

Brick manufacturers have worked together as part of the wider ceramic sector Health and Safety Pledge Scheme, to improve health and safety performance through sharing good practice and initiatives. One example of this collective working is the development of the sector Continual Professional Development scheme for quarry managers.
During the pandemic period supporting mental health and wellbeing is high on the agenda for many companies, with a range of initiatives taking place. Examples include membership of “Mates in Mind” - a charitable programme to promote positive mental health in the workplace. Companies have also carried out a range of training, support and awareness raising initiatives. This work will continue to remain a priority.

What we plan to do -

  • Continue to invest in formal training and apprenticeship schemes
  • Engage with the Health and Safety Pledge (Pledge Phase 4), which is closely aligned with the HSE’s Manufacturing Sector Strategy\
  • Explore further opportunities for collaborative working
    to improve health and safety performance, including the development of sector specific training

Subscribe to the Brick Bulletin

Keep up to date with the latest in clay brick architecture