HEMPFLAX, an industrial hemp grower and processor, has launched a building supplies division.
The move follows the acquisition of Thermo Natur a German manufacturer of natural fibre insulation.
The deal accelerates HempFlax’s strategy to own more of the hemp supply chain.
HempFlax says it is now able to operate a ‘seed-to-shelf’ business aiming to capitalise on rising consumer demand for sustainable building materials in Europe.
The company says that increasing concerns about climate change are driving demand in the organic insulation market.
According to the European Union, buildings in Europe consume approximately 40% of energy and produce approximately 35% of greenhouse emissions.
While insulation reduces energy use and the resultant carbon dioxide emissions, the manufacturing process of synthetic and mineral insulation is energy intensive, emitting between 100 kg and 1000 kg CO2 per cubic metre for some products.
Hemp insulation manufacturing generates 40 kg CO2 per m3.
Overall, HempFlax says the production of hemp insulation is carbon negative, meaning more carbon is taken out of the atmosphere than is emitted in the supply chain.
Mark Reinders, CEO of HempFlax, commented, “Synthetic construction materials are simply not needed, and their usage has dire ecological and climatic consequences, be it from pollutants, carbon emissions or unhealthy living environments. Thankfully, market trends indicate that consumers and businesses are waking up to this and we look forward to working towards a more sustainable European construction industry.”
Hemp insulation is proven to create a healthier indoor environment. It has a higher ‘Specific Heat Capacity’ (i.e. the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of the material) than glass wool insulation, and is therefore better at preventing overheating in the summer and retaining heat in winter.
Hemp insulation is non-hazardous, non-carcinogenic and non-toxic and it does not irritate the human respiratory system.
Currently, hemp insulation comprises less than 0.5% of the 3.3 million tonnes of insulation materials used each year in construction. With 47% of UK consumers saying they would pay a premium for more sustainable products, HempFlax is confident that hemp’s share of this lucrative market is set to increase exponentially.
The global building thermal insulation market size is expected to reach USD 38.95 billion by 2025.
Guy Winterflood, Chairman of HempFlax, said, “By leveraging our 25-year experience from seed-to-shelf, we have been successfully trading through the COVID-19 pandemic. This has resulted in HempFlax increasing its market share and consolidating its leading position. HempFlax continues to maximise profits by processing the whole hemp plant and this has led to a very strong start to Q1 2020, with revenues growing nearly 20% on the previous year. We continue to assess opportunities to further the Company’s goal of being the market leader in the fast-growing hemp industry.”