Commenting, Liam McCaffrey, Chief Executive Officer said:
“Operationally, our focus in 2022 was to mitigate inflationary impacts for our customers and employees and to ensure continuing momentum as inflationary pressures ease. Strategically, decarbonisation has been and remains a fundamental priority. During the year, in partnership with FL Smidth, we developed and implemented a new combustion system which will remove 40,000 tonnes of coal and more than 58,000 tonnes of carbon emissions from our cement production annually, equivalent to the annual carbon emissions of a mid-sized town.
“Our decarbonisation plans continue and post year-end we are progressing plans to generate green hydrogen on site, that will be used to replace diesel across over 70% of the company’s 150 heavy-goods truck fleet on a phased basis by 2035. This investment is part of a broader suite of Green Investments that will include wind and solar energy to deliver on our commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 33 per cent by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2050. We remain actively engaged with Evercore Partners on the optimum funding solutions to support this investment which is aimed at delivering positive commercial and climate change impacts.”
Post year end, John Moran, CEO and founder of RHH International, Chairman of Grid Finance, Chairman of the Limerick Tunnel PPP and board member of Shannon Airport Group, as well as being a former Secretary General of the Department of Finance, former board member of the European Investment Bank and former Chair of the Land Development Agency, was appointed non-executive Director of Mannok.
Welcoming John to the board, Liam McCaffrey said:
“I welcome John to the board and look forward to working closely with him given his top-level experience at the EIB, a leader in sustainable finance and climate change.”
With operations straddling north and south of the border, Mannok comprises two key divisions, Building Products and Packaging. Its key activities are the manufacture of cement, concrete, quarry and aggregate products, insulation materials, as well as the manufacturing of packaging products, mainly for the food industry, focussed on the Island of Ireland and GB markets.
Commenting on outlook for the year ahead Chief Financial Officer, Dara O’Reilly said;
“Following some volatility in activity levels in 2022, we are seeing renewed momentum year to date and firmer demand, that inform a more encouraging outlook for the year ahead. Capital expenditure across the business increased by a further €11.6m in the period bringing total investment since acquiring the businesses in December 2014 to over €90m.”
€200+m Green Investment progressing apace
Sustainability remains a key driver of investment and growth as Mannok progresses a €200+million Green Investment to reduce carbon emissions.
Coal displacement: During the period Mannok piloted, and has now adopted, a new world-first combustion technology with the potential to almost eliminate the use of fossil fuel. The new FuelFlex® Pyrolizer process facilitates the removal of around 40,000 tonnes of coal and 58,000 tonnes of carbon emissions annually; comparable to the annual carbon emissions of the population of a medium sized town such as Carrickmacross, Ardee, Tipperary, Listowel or Clonakilty.
An additional commercial and environmental consequence of this investment has been the effective elimination of 48,000 litres per week of expensive ammonia water – used to reduce Nitrogen Oxides, or NOx emissions. NOx emissions are now running at around 20% below permitted levels.
Dust and emissions abatement: During 2022, Mannok also commissioned a new €7.2m best-available-technology dust and emissions abatement system which positions the business to achieve expected future emissions reduction legislation.
Green Hydrogen: Post year-end Mannok has been named as one of two companies in Northern Ireland to secure funding in a new £240 million UK Government Green Energy Scheme. The funding will support Mannok in generating green hydrogen (H₂) on site. Green Hydrogen is a zero-emission fuel created using renewable energy that will be used to replace the use of diesel across much of the company’s heavy-goods fleet.
Cross border collaboration with Government bodies and academia: Mannok’s Green Investment Plan has been developed in collaboration with a number of state agencies and third level institutions including Innovate UK and Enterprise Ireland. In addition, the company is a participant in Project HyLIGHT; an academic-led research initiative, supported by Science Foundation Ireland and 25 industry bodies aimed at understanding and planning the country’s green Hydrogen transition.
People and Community
Employment at Mannok, comprising over 800 staff, remained largely unchanged during the period which saw Mannok named as one of Ireland’s Best Managed Companies whilst its schools’ partnership, apprenticeship and graduate programmes, earned recognition in the Business in the Community Responsible Business Awards and the Irish News Workplace and Employment Awards.
The very successful schools programme was extended in the period, with the launch of a new Mannok Digital Innovation Hub at St Patrick’s College Cavan, and the company continued its support for the Innovating Communities initiative, which is a free-service training and mentoring project designed to empower local communities to work together and address challenges facing their areas in Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo, Cavan, Monaghan and Louth.
The company was one of the main winners at the Lean Business Ireland Awards in 2022, which recognises significant progress in the introduction of Lean principles and practice throughout the organisation. Among a range of customer awards received in the year, Mannok was announced as Supplier of the Year by IBC (Independent Buying Consortium) and Building Supplier of the Year by NBG (National Buying Group), both highly influential buying groups in the UK construction sector.
Internally, Mannok extended its Health & Wellbeing programme offering health screening for all employees and the launch of the Mannok Mental Health Awareness programme which includes collaboration with Aware NI and the Ashling Centre. It also introduced an Employee Assistance Programme and Enhanced Wellbeing Support which enables staff to access a 24/7 advice line on a range of matters such as Financial, Mental Health, Nutrition and Fitness, Digital Gym as well as a range of Wellbeing seminars.
As part of Mannok’s 2030 Vision, the company commits to:
Creating a diverse and inclusive workplace with professional development opportunities for every employee.
Supporting the development of a protected local historical site, Slieve Rushen House, which is located on Mannok land, to create a heritage and biodiversity centre for the benefit of the wider community.
Collaborating with suppliers and customers to decarbonise its supply chain, focusing on Scope 3 emissions and responsible procurement, whilst ensuring full transparency on the carbon footprint of its products through voluntary disclosure.
Collaborating with suppliers and customers to decarbonise its supply chain, focusing on scope 3 emissions and responsible procurement, whilst ensuring full transparency on the carbon footprint of its products through voluntary disclosure.