Why should specifiers care about the ESG of roofing products?

Marley solar panels on a domestic block of flats

When specifying building products such as roofing materials, appearance, performance and price are some of the top criteria you think about. However, there’s also increasing focus on whether a product is environmentally friendly and socially responsible, and whether a company is operating in an ethical way. Many buildings are now judged on their environmental and social sustainability, through voluntary schemes such as BREEAM, LEED and WELL.

That’s why many manufacturers are turning to environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategies to demonstrate their commitment to people, the planet and the processes they implement.

An ESG serves as a set of standards for a company's impact on the wider community, and it gives specifiers a tool for assessing how their own goals coordinate with a product or service they require.

As market leaders in roofing products, the team at Marley has spent decades building a company that not only provides high-quality, reliable roofing materials. We’ve also worked hard to ensure that our business is socially and environmentally responsible so that specifiers can rest assured that the products we provide meet all a project’s desired outcomes.

Environmentally friendly roofing products

The environmental impact of the construction industry is a major consideration in our sector. Research by the International Energy Agency reports that construction is responsible for 39% of global energy and process-related emissions, and it also accounts for 40% of drinking water pollution and 23% of air pollution. While these are international figures, the UK construction industry certainly contributes to these numbers, and there is a lot that we can do to reduce our impact on the environment.

Targets set by the UK government include a 78% carbon reduction (on 1990 levels) and net zero carbon emissions by 2020. To achieve these ambitious goals, the industry needs to start taking big steps sooner rather than later.

Marley is committed to environmental sustainability and minimising our impact on operations. We are doing this in several ways, including:

  • Cutting our energy use – We aim to reduce our energy usage year on year. In 2021, our carbon emissions intensity ratio dropped by 28%.
  • Diverting waste from landfill – We consistently recycle 100% of production waste and the amount of overall waste diverted from landfill has increased to 100%.
  • Conserving water – We have reduced water consumption by 27%, with water use per tonne of production decreasing to 0.09 m3. In addition, 21. % of our water comes from rainwater harvesting and boreholes.
  • Supporting biodiversity – We invest in conservation and diversity projects across all our sites. And, through our FusionForest initiative, a tree is planted for every five solar panels we sell.
  • Simplifying solar – The innovative Marley SolarTile® makes it easy for architects to include aesthetically pleasing and high-performance solar PV as part of a fully integrated roof system.

Our social responsibility

Of course, these days, sustainability doesn’t just refer to the environment; social sustainability is also a critical consideration for many building projects.

At Marley, we are committed to making responsible and lasting contributions to our people, community, customers and partners. We have a zero-tolerance policy toward inequality and discrimination, and we strive to create an environment that treats people with fairness and respect.

Health, safety and wellbeing are among our top priorities and all of our manufacturing sites are independently certified to ISO 45001, the international standard for occupational health and safety management. We also provide training to our network of installers, covering topics such as healthcare issues related to sun exposure and staying safe in winter weather.

Our training also continues in the wider community. We work with universities and colleges across the UK to provide future architects and architectural technicians with blended learning, training and support along with real-world insights into manufacturing.

We offer CPD seminars to help specifiers and other stakeholders keep their knowledge and skills up to date. We also support local work experience and student placements, operate apprenticeships and sponsor industry awards that highlight rising stars – such as the AJ Student Prize, which encourages and celebrates new talent in the industry.

Governance and roof product innovation

The way we carry out business is guided by a set of beliefs, practices and procedures, giving us a clear path towards fairness and transparency in all of our interactions. Much of this relates back to our environmental and social responsibilities. For example, our careful sourcing helps specifiers know that the products we provide are manufactured from responsible sources. We also aim to be transparent in all of our reporting, showing the effective progress we make towards being the best corporate citizens.

Innovation is at the heart of what we do, and we are constantly looking for ways to improve our offering or develop new products that meet the needs of our customers. In 1975, we were the first company to provide dry-fixing roofing systems and today, dry-fix is the industry standard for both safety and ease of installation.

Other innovations include: the Marley SolarTile® - UK's first fully integrated solar roof panel, which is also covered by our 15-year full roof warranty, JB Red - the only factory-graded roof batten, and our Roof Defence product, which helps to prevent the spread of fire in adjoining properties.

Marley roofing systems: for a better tomorrow

To learn more about Marley’s ESG strategies, and the work we are doing to improve our environmental, social and governance performance, download our Planet, People and Process brochure.

And if you’d like to find out how Marley’s products and services can help you to meet the ESG requirements of a project, please get in touch. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have and help you to develop a specification that will have a positive impact on the world.