Building a sustainable business

Our business has a significant footprint, whether this is measured through the number of people we employ, the volume of raw materials we consume, the emissions from our sites, or simply the lives we touch through the properties built from our products.

If we are to continue to manufacture building products needed to create homes, communities and infrastructure for the generations to come, we recognise that we must attain the highest standards of stewardship for our material resources, care for our planet, and have the support of our employees and wider society.

We have developed a reporting framework setting out a balanced approach to sustainability through these three pillars: ‘Planet, Product and People’. Collectively, our three pillars will guide our future decision making, ensuring we are successful in our overall objective of being a good neighbour and responsible employer, for generations to come. This framework sets out our key future targets, and reporting metrics within each sustainability pillar, which can be found here.

“I believe that now, more than ever is the right time to increase our ambitions and accelerate our progress on sustainability. Introduced in the 2019 annual report, our three sustainability pillars of People, Planet and Product will guide our future decision making, and I have recently commissioned specific task-force groups focused on key priorities of renewable energy investment, carbon emissions, and plastic packaging reduction.”

Neil Ash CEO


We want to be a leading and responsible business, ensuring that, in our provision of building materials for quality, energy efficient structures, we operate in the most resource efficient manner possible, minimising waste and helping the UK to achieve its target of Net Zero Carbon by 2050.

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We develop innovative and sustainable solutions to ensure the essential building materials we manufacture last for generations, with minimal environmental impact. We take care to use resources efficiently, using recycled materials where possible, and ensure that our customers are given up-to-date information about the correct use and recycling of our products at the end of their life cycle.

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Our priorities are the health and wellbeing of our employees and the elimination of accidents, making sure that anyone who works or visits one of our sites goes home unharmed. We also want to make Forterra a great place to work by providing best in class training and opportunities for development, inclusion and progression. We want to support and be an asset to the local economy and communities in which we operate.

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Our management systems

We have adopted a series of recognised management systems to provide us with a framework within which to operate our sites. Verified by independent third-party audits, our stakeholders can feel confident that we are protecting our people, the environment and our resources. Read more about the indicators and targets we use to demonstrate our progress towards our goals by clicking the link below.

Download our key data summary

Desford: Building Europe’s most efficient brick factory

We are in the process of transforming our Desford plant into the largest and most efficient brick factory in Europe.

At the heart of the new plant’s efficiency will be two new kilns that use the state-of-the-art technology to reduce energy consumption and emissions and enable us to adjust output in line with demand. The first bricks are due to roll off the new production line in 2022.

Read more about our Desford investment project