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NRAs 2015 Construction Recycler: FM Conway

Infrastructure service company FM Conway operates in London and the south-east, and provides highways maintenance, landscaping, structures and cleansing services for 17 London boroughs.

It is also one of the capital’s key construction materials suppliers, and uses its own manufacturing facilities to ‘self-deliver’ the materials required for its construction projects.

Controlling materials supply plays a large part in FM Conway’s long-term strategy to move its business to a circular economic model. Its core activity of road maintenance is particularly heavy in its use of resources, requiring large volumes of materials such as bitumen and aggregates.

FM Conway

By investing in asphalt recycling and production facilities, the company is reducing the amount of virgin materials required for its projects. Highways arisings are used as feedstock for future projects, effectively turning London’s road network into FM Conway’s quarry. It is working with councils to understand the composition of their road assets to increase the volumes recycled.

The business has invested £35m since 2010 in recycling facilities. It now recycles 98% of all the waste it generates, diverts 450,000 tonnes of construction waste from landfill and saves approximately 11,800 tonnes of CO2.

“The company demonstrated clear commitment, an embedded culture of sustainability and focus on continued Investment. The judges were impressed with Innovative planning, such as using waterways to avoid road usage.”

Judges’ comment                          

In 2014, it opened a new asphalt plant at Heathrow. This, along with its asphalt recycling plant in Erith, Kent, which has been operational since 2010, allows the company to produce 700,000 tonnes of recycled asphalt a year. The plant at Erith also uses strategic waterways to allow the transport of materials by boat, saving on truck movements and associated emissions.

At its UKAS-accredited research and development laboratory, it develops products with a high recycled content. These include a low-carbon Enviro range that has 25% less embodied carbon than traditional products and a 75% recycled binder.

FM Conway has also developed its own drainage treatment plant, which processes materials dredged from gullies as part of its cleansing work. This saves it 2.4 million gallons of mains water each year. Aggregates are diverted back to construction projects, and extracted water is used to wash aggregates and also in concrete production.

FM Conway’s approach has brought material supply in-house, making it more competitive. This has resulted in significant growth as well as environmental and reputational benefits. 

 

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