As Longcliffe Quarries prepares to celebrate its centenary, the Derbyshire based business is striving to be champions of sustainability in the sector by becoming carbon neutral by 2027. Viv Russell is the Managing Director at Longcliffe and a Board Member at D2N2. He told us about their plans along with the wider sustainability issues in the sector.
For nearly 100 years, Longcliffe Quarries has been a market-leading supplier of high purity calcium carbonates.
From agriculture to architecture, from pet foods to pharmaceuticals, calcium carbonate forms the basis of many everyday products.
Today we make over 100 products from our high-quality limestone reserves. We are an important local business, employing over 170 people and providing much-needed materials for the whole country.
Like any quarrying business, we are intimately tied to the local landscape. We are determined that quarrying not only continues to be but is also seen to be a positive force in that landscape. As such, and as we prepare to celebrate our centenary, we are determined to be champions of sustainability in the quarrying sector – and to be carbon neutral by 2027.
In order to achieve this ambitious target, Longcliffe has redoubled its efforts to increase operational efficiency. A particularly important recent milestone has been installation of a wet materials processing plant for Brassington Moor Quarry. This £3.5 million investment – recently visited by The Rt Hon Brandon Lewis MP, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, and Derbyshire Dales MP Sarah Dines, enables the transformation of materials that would otherwise go to waste.
It allows us to process up to 220 tonnes of higher-clay material per hour, and to produce six types of aggregate products, which are then sold into the construction supply chain. Water used during this process is continually recycled, limiting the need for clean water on site. Not only has this investment supported a new revenue stream for us, but it has also enabled us to reduce load haul fuel by 12%.
This follows a 90% reduction in net emissions from electrical usage at the quarry since 2015, when we installed two 2.3MW wind turbines generating approximately 11,000MWh in any given year. We think we can push this further still, having also installed a hydro plant and rooftop solar, and with plans for larger-scale solar as well as investment in new drying technology and more efficient vehicles.
We have further been leading the way with carbon offsetting. Since 2010, we have planted 117ha of woodland, and we are adding to this every year. All of our woods are planted at lower densities, with an appropriate species mix. We are also working on certification of the circa 2.5km of hedgerows we are planting each year.
Carbon and natural capital are set to dominate industrial thinking for the next few decades, and to drive innovation and change across all parts of society. Longcliffe is a powerful example of an independent business determined to take a lead, and have a positive impact on the environment and its local community.
We believe we have a credible pathway to delivering net-zero, and we will be working with policymakers and industry parnters to ensure the sector has the support it needs to deliver the best outcome and meets its climate and environmental targets.