2 November 2021 | Innovation | Environment | BY: Red Stag Materials Ltd

Red Stag driving towards Carbon-Neutral pothole repairs across UK

Highway maintenance expert, Red Stag Materials has had its EZ Street asphalt road repair product certified carbon-neutral – paving the way to a cleaner process for repairing Britain’s pothole-ridden roads network.

While traditional surface repairs have been achieved through the application of hot mix asphalt – which has to be kept heated at 180 degrees – EZ Street is a polymer-modified cold asphalt, meaning that not only does it remove the need for heat, but it also helps operators reduce costs and the level of associated Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions.

Confirmation of EZ Street’s carbon-neutral status comes days before world leaders gather in Glasgow for the COP26 summit which will focus on how to slow the rate of climate change around the world. And Red Stag believes EZ Street can play a part by helping highways agencies and local authorities reach their climate change targets.

Grant Shewan, Red Stag Managing Director, said: “Cities the world over have ambitions to significantly cut their carbon emissions, and it’s something EZ Street can help them achieve.

“With many products out there continuing to contain cement – the source of 7% of the world’s CO2 – as well as requiring heating, we are proud to offer part of the solution to the climate change issues facing us all.

“Not only is the process of applying the product better for the environment, but it is also safer for workers as it eliminates fumes and the need for handling hot material. As well as this, it also ensures repairs can be carried out quicker, meaning roads can reopen sooner.

“Climate change is having a detrimental effect on our roads through regular flooding and heat damage. And while society is doing its bit to try to slow this problem down, and it is time for the highways industry to step up, too.”

Grant believes the UK’s local authorities and roads maintenance organisations have a significant role to play in ensuring the country realises its climate change ambitions. And with statistics showing the 1,674,236 potholes that were filled in across England and Wales last year cost £93.6 million, an increase of more than £7 million on 2020 figures, the problem is not going away any time soon.

He added: “Councils and roads agencies are the UK’s main consumers of products such as EZ Street, with National Highways setting a target of conducting its maintenance and construction work with near zero emissions by 2040.

“While that is a commendable ambition, EZ Street allows these organisations to accelerate that process and at the same time have a positive impact on cost, quality and safety.”

The carbon credits Red Stag acquires by offsetting the production of EZ Street are used to fund CO2balance projects across Africa to rehabilitate broken down water points including boreholes and protected springs, enabling communities to access groundwater which is safe for consumption.

Grant added: “Through our partnership with CO2balance we are helping remove the need for communities in Africa to burn firewood in order to make water drinkable, which also reduces CO2 emissions.

“We are proud of the role we are playing not only in reducing emissions here in the UK, but also helping those who are less fortunate live a better, safer life.”

As part of the company-wide drive to be more sustainable, Red Stag, which is based in Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, also encourages customers to buy EZ Street in bulk sacks or in loose form, thus eradicating the use for single use plastics.

Grant said: “Every 45 bags – equal to 1 tonne of material – saved equates to a minimum saving of 32 kgco2e, and the carbon neutral status for EZ Street is just the first step in the journey for us. We hope to introduce more sustainable technologies in our business such as electric vehicles, loading shovels, renewable energy and recycled aggregates.

“We need roads that are fit for purpose, but there is nothing stopping anyone repairing those roads in a sustainable manner now.”

EZ Street has been manufactured and sold around the world for more than 25 years, but was brought to the UK by Red Stag in 2019 and has British Board of Agrément (BBA) Highway Authorities Product Approval Scheme (HAPAS) approval.

Image source: Red Stag / Fifth Ring