Tarmac, CRH company: understanding how natural capital tools can help enhance quarry restoration efforts

Tarmac, a CRH company, has supported the UK Government’s Natural Capital Committee by undertaking an evaluation of their Corporate Natural Capital Accounting Framework. The study aimed to understand how natural capital tools can help enhance quarry restoration efforts. To increase sustainability in nature conservation restoration approaches, we explored opportunities for carbon sequestration, biodiversity enhancement, water management, recreation and landscape amenity. By placing a financial value on natural assets not normally included in conventional financial accounts, the aim was to improve and substantiate the financial performance of the operations.

We recognized that natural capital valuation can support different aspects of our work and beyond. It provides the opportunity to communicate with the local community about full costs and added societal values across the quarry operation and restoration. The business and communities can benefit by aligning post-restoration design with recreational needs and biodiversity benefits. The pilot showed how natural capital valuation can demonstrate responsible site stewardship, strengthen our reputation and enhance community support for our operations. 

Natural Capital Protocol used
  • No, but aligns with the Protocol’s framework
Impact drivers assessed
  • Fresh water ecosystem use e.g. wetlands, ponds, rivers
  • GHG emissions e.g. volume of CO2, CH4, N2O, SF6, HFCs and PFCs etc.
  • Impact on biodiversity e.g. impact on species, ecosystems, habitats or genetic diversity
  • Other resource use e.g. volume of minerals extracted, volume of wild fish caught by species
  • Soil pollutants e.g. volume of waste matter discharges and retained in soil over a given period
  • Terrestrial ecosystem use e.g. area of agriculture by type, area of forest plantation by type
  • Water pollutants e.g. volume discharged to receiving water body
  • Water use e.g. volume of ground- or surface water consumed
Organizational Focus
  • Project
Valuation Type
  • Monetary
  • Value to business
  • Value to society
Dependencies assessed
  • Biodiversity
  • Experience e.g. nature-based recreation, tourism
  • Regulation of biological environment e.g. pollination, crop pest control
  • Regulation of physical environment e.g. flood attenuation, water quality regulation
  • Water e.g. fresh or sea water
Value Chain Boundary
  • Direct operations
Sectors
  • Cement

Key findings

For our Mancetter site, results revealed that the benefits the site will deliver following completion of restoration in 2031 are expected to be significantly greater than values pre-development. For a better understanding of the true value of developing a site, it is key to illustrate and analyze the broader costs and benefits.

Through the assessment, we were able to understand the benefits derived from natural capital, its importance to our business operations and how it can support better decision making. For example, the assessment enabled better communication between operational staff and supporting professions, such as finance. In one instance, the timing for an investment in passive water treatment systems was reviewed. The project also identified operational efficiencies and, most importantly, increased our ability to communicate and consult on our operations’ benefits and associated restoration scheme options to stakeholders, including the local community.