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World first: highways SME Thermal Road Repairs gains PAS 2080 accreditation

Thermal Road Repairs, which manufactures and supplies low-carbon pothole repair technology, has become the first SME in the highways sector to gain PAS 2080 accreditation for its carbon management system. The accreditation, awarded in February 2024, is for Scopes 1, 2 and 3 carbon emissions, covering the company, processes and its supply chain.

Based in Crewe with 30 employees, Thermal Road Repairs’ flagship pothole and defect repair system emits 85% less carbon than traditional repair processes. The heaters at the heart of its process can be charged using biogas or electricity and are topped up by solar power via their in-built solar panels.

PAS 2080:2023 Carbon management in buildings and infrastructure is a standard that sets out how carbon emissions should be measured, recorded and reduced. To gain accreditation, a company must be independently audited with an initial assessment to flag up gaps and a final one conducted later. In Thermal Road Repair’s case, there were six months between the two audits.

Thermal Road Repairs managing director Aidan Conway explained why the company chose the PAS 2080 accreditation route. “We want to lead the industry in provable carbon reduction techniques. With so many carbon calculators available, we chose to look at a formal, audited, accredited process.”

National Highways requires all its large and medium-sized supply chain partners to achieve PAS 2080 accreditation by the end of 2025. It wants its SME suppliers to set up systems that align with PAS 2080, and to evidence that they do, but will not demand the formal accreditation.

Thermal Road Repairs began its journey to PAS 2080 accreditation in mid-2023, building on its existing written system for continual improvement of equipment aid process. Among the changes the company made to meet the PAS 2080 standard was to switch to renewable energy for its factory.

Conway has this to say about the PAS 2080 accreditation process: “For an SME, the largest part is documenting and formalising a system for the ethos of the company. My advice to other SMEs would be to read the standard and figure out where you can fit in. Often smaller impactful changes are sufficient, rather than larger expensive shifts in your business strategy.

Thermal Road Repairs’ system uses a computer-controlled thermal infrared heater, to heat up failed and failing material in and around a pothole. A small quantity of new asphalt is then added, mixed with the existing material and the area compacted. There is no need for the use of grinders or jack hammers and, because there is no cold joint, the repair is seamless which prevents the pothole from reforming.

The next step for Thermal Road Repairs will be to set a target date for achieving net zero carbon emissions. It is currently developing a state-of-the-art optimised solar array for its production facility. Other R&D work includes the use of new fuels and additives and trialling electricity generation using hydrogen.


Thermal Road Repairs: Decarbonising the asphalt repair industry

High output. Low emission. Zero waste. Permanent solution


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