Sheehans Brochure

The Environment

Sheehan Group operates in a sector with a significant impact on the world and its resources. It is essential we endeavour to act responsibly towards our environment, both corporately and independently, and refer to and develop adequate sustainability practices.
As an island with dwindling natural reserves of sand and aggregates for use in construction a sustainable solution was sought by Sheehan to address this problem.


The result was the installation of our aggregate washing facility. The process is in keeping with the circular economy school of thought, a “Cradle to Cradle” approach, supporting a closed loop to production processes. Linear “Take, Make, Dispose” industrial processes and the lifestyles that feed on them are outdated, deplete finite reserves and create products that end up landfills or in incinerators.


In 2012, the European Commission published a document entitled Manifesto for a Resource Efficient Europe. This manifesto clearly stated that "In a world with growing pressures on resources and the environment, the EU has no choice but to go for the transition to a resource-efficient and ultimately regenerative circular economy.” Furthermore, the document highlighted the importance of "a systemic change in the use and recovery of resources in the economy" in ensuring future jobs and competitiveness, and outlined potential pathways to a circular economy, in innovation and investment, regulation, tackling harmful subsidies, increasing opportunities for new business models, and setting clear targets.


Schemes such as our waste recycling facility comply with the circular economy think-tank, yet are largely under supported and un-publicised. Raising awareness of the engineering capabilities of technology which is manufactured in the UK by CDE Global Limited, is key to large-scale user take up of recycled aggregates.


The Possibilities

With specific reference to the capability of the technology, the double benefit of reduced reliance on virgin aggregate extraction as well as decreased dependency on disposal in landfill sites are two key environmental justifications. Its uptake in concrete production has expansive yet largely untapped possibilities. No PLC concrete producer to date has embarked upon installing such a washing facility and by precedent fully endorsed the supply of sustainable concrete.


In respect of concrete, virgin sand and gravel can be substituted for recycled sand and gravel from construction waste, whilst maintaining the end product’s durable, workable properties. In addition to virgin aggregate substitutes, replacing energy-consuming Portland cement with recyclable materials and minerals offers two distinct benefits to the environment—it significantly reduces the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere and it minimises massive landfill disposal. Pulverised fuel ash (PFA), and similarly blast furnace slag, when mixed with lime and water, forms a compound similar to Portland cement and is extremely strong and durable.


In Practice

We have used sustainable concrete on our own premises to construct the buildings. They consist of 100% recycled sand and aggregate produced on site by our washing facility. For cement, our blend was 50:50 GGBS (steel work slag/PFA) and Portland cement. The quantities required for the mix are 175kg/m3 GGBS, 175kg/m3 Portland cement, 900kg/m3 recycled sand, 900kg/m3 recycled aggregate. The balancing figure is recycled water at 150kg/m3. With Portland cement being the only primary raw material, the resulting calculation is 92.4% of the inputs to production are from a sustainable source. Conventionally, 100% of inputs are from a primary, unsustainable source. Concrete's green potential offers many opportunities for designers, planners and Government to embrace and influence the environmental, economic and social credentials of their projects.

Click here to view This is Concrete’s article on our recycled aggregates.


Group ISO 14001 2004 Certificate available for download



Sheehan Haulage & Plant Hire
Knightsbridge Farm
Yarnton, Oxford
Tel: 01865 379 931
Fax: 01865 841 216