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Environmental Policy

At Bradfords, we understand the scale of the challenges presented by climate change, loss of biodiversity and species extinction, and the wider negative impacts that construction activity can have on our natural environment.  We know we have a role to play in addressing this – both as a supplier to the trades and home renovators and as part of our efforts to support the communities where we operate across the South West in protecting and improving the beautiful part of the country we have called home for over 250 years.


Above all, we’re on the same journey as everyone else, learning what is possible and integrating efficient and renewable solutions where we can. 

As we progress our sustainability journey, our key focus is on four areas:

Listening & Education

We believe the best way to build our sustainability strategy is through listening and education. We listening to and engage with stakeholders – from government and local authorities to architects, the trades, our suppliers and relevant industry organisations – to build our knowledge bank and explore how we educate ourselves to maintain and where possible improve environmental capital.

Measuring our impact in this area is key.  As one of the Construction Leadership Council’s ‘business champions’ for their CO2nstructZero zero carbon programme, we follow their performance framework to help guide our efforts for decarbonisation throughout our value chain.

We are actively talking to suppliers, our people and our customers to understand exactly what their priorities are, where knowledge gaps exist and how we can provide the education needed to close them.  We need our teams to be able to confidently make choices about how and why they support the climate change agenda, be able to collaborate effectively with our suppliers, as well as being able to advise our customers so they can make informed choices.

Through our Building Sustainable Communities event series, we develop collaboration between ourselves and suppliers, and to date have welcomed over 750 people to our headline events about the future of building. 

Internally, our sustainability champions are supported to be advocates for environmental sustainability.  Crucially as well though, they act as our eyes and ears in the business, providing vital feedback to leadership to support strategy around environmental and wider sustainability. 

In 2023 we launched our domestic retrofit training to ensure that we are best positioned to support this crucial improvement to UK housing stock in support of UK government net-zero commitments.  We also bolstered relationships with education institutions to give us avenues to support the development of our employees’ carbon literacy and broader sustainability knowledge.

Our Own Commitment

 Walking the walk is something Bradfords has prided itself on for the past 250 years and our approach to sustainability is no exception.  We’re not about to ignore that legacy now, and we know we owe it to our communities to set an example. 

We’ve set ourselves the target of achieving Scope 1 net carbon zero by 2044, and are just shy of 10% ahead of target as we go into 2024.  With all electricity in the business sourced from renewables since October 2020, our scope 2 carbon is already materially zero*.  However, we know that 90%+ of our carbon footprint is within scope 3, and 2023 sees us stat to understand this and work on our strategy for addressing scope 3.

In addressing scope 1 carbon, here are some of the initiatives we’re undertaking: 


  • We continue to reduce our energy consumption in accordance with ESOS and ESOS2
  • We continue to replace lighting systems across our estate with LEDs.  To date, we’ve replaced over 65% of our total lighting
  • Where heating systems are reaching end of life or need replacing, we are doing so as far as possible with renewable systems.  All new sites are fitted with renewable heat systems, supported by solar PV

Electrification Programme: 

  • We only offer hybrid and full EV options for company cars in addition to being part of the Octopus EV scheme which employees can use personally or within car allowances
  • Our first electric van is on trial at our Sherborne branch, and we will use this trial to assess the viability of further EV vans across our network over the course of 2024
  • We will have an electric forklift fleet by 2025.  In 2023 we added 28 electric forklifts, either new or to replace ageing diesel fleet
  • Beyond this, we continue to look at innovative ways of reducing the miles our teams need to cover that are not directly related to deliveries

Delivery Fleet: 

  • We saw emissions reduce from previous year in both 2022 and 2023, despite more orders being fulfilled by LGV delivery in both years compared to the year before.  Our van fleet emissions also reduced
  • We know we can reduce our delivery emissions further by simply being more intelligent about how we schedule and route our deliveries, and in 2024 have a dedicated working group to assess how to most effectively achieve this


  • Our goal is zero to landfill.  But we don’t want to make an empty promise.  Whilst we can achieve this in most areas, we know that there are parts of our estate which contain the likes of asbestos, which we will likely be removing over the next 20 years.  That aside, the goal is otherwise to achieve zero to landfill by 2027
  • We continue to challenge our suppliers on packaging and are investigating routes to viably recover packaging both from our own sites and customers’ sites for recycling
  • We are a member of the new Pallet LOOP circular economy pallet system
  • We are working with suppliers for more difficult materials to dispose of to understand whether they can bring some of the initiatives they employ on major building projects to our branches
  • At our distribution centre we have invested in equipment that turns discarded cardboard into packaging, eliminating any requirement for plastic bubble wrap

New sites:

  • We commit to using low energy products (LED lights, heat recovery systems) at all new sites


We understand that first and foremost, the materials or products we supply must be able to do the job they’re needed for and to last. That must be the start point when it comes to talking about sustainability of building materials.

We’re working with our suppliers to ensure we understand the environmental impact of what we know customers already need and to explore more sustainable alternatives without compromising on quality.  In addition we’re looking at how we support our customers to build to meet thermal, water efficiency and air quality performance.  Whilst the sustainable attributes of the products are important, so is the performance they contribute to in a completed building.  Low carbon homes through their use are critical to delivering on decarbonisation targets.

Yet while we’re striving to offer a wide range of high quality, sustainable products that meet the demands of our customers, we know that’s not enough. There’s also a job to do in helping people to make environmentally friendly choices when shopping with us. A big part of that is to support our team so that they can confidently help our customers to make informed decisions about the products and materials they use for their building projects.

Furthermore, we know that by the time the plans for a build are in, it’s often too late to influence the materials used for most initiatives.  With this in mind, we commit to proactively engaging in build projects as early in the design process as possible, to give us an opportunity to influence the materials used.  If you’ve got a dream or a plan and you want to know what you could do to improve the sustainability of that project, do get in touch and we’d be happy to help. 


Our enduring presence in the South-West means that we have a responsibility to represent our wider family when it comes to the challenges and conversation on sustainability.  At Bradfords we chair our trade federation’s sustainability forum and working group, both of which exist to drive sustainability in the building materials value chain.  Crucially this also gives us an effective route to represent the views and concerns of communities, our customers, and our peers into an organisation with direct links into government.  We also work in more local construction groups focussed on environmental sustainability and challenges therein to provide what support we can, sitting on the South-West Green Construction Advisory panel for example.

Contact Us

We welcome any thoughts, views or suggestions as we progress our sustainability strategy. If you have any ideas or would like to discuss any aspects of our approach to sustainability, please get in touch with Giles Bradford, Sustainability Lead at: [email protected]

*Some car travel in EVs inevitably means using on route chargers which may not be supplied with renewable energy, but relative to overall electricity consumption, the amount is immaterial.