At Bradfords, we understand the scale of the challenges presented by climate change. And 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.
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:
Listening & Education
We believe the best way to build our sustainability strategy is through listening and education. We’re currently listening to and engaging with stakeholders – from government and local authorities to architects, the trades and relevant industry organisations – to build our knowledge bank and explore how we educate ourselves on improving our sustainability.
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 provide us with tangible targets.
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, as well as being able to advise our customers to do the same.
We will have training set up for our teams, customers, and our local communities to support the roll out of our initial renewable and sustainable product offering in place by October 2021, with a fully integrated education programme for customers and our teams in place by 2023.
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 reducing our own carbon footprint from 2019 levels year on year. While we’d have liked to have achieved more, in 2020 we achieved a 5% reduction. However, to support the UK climate change agenda we know that’s just the start.
We propose to continue to follow this trajectory to hit the 2030 68% reduction. To do this we are looking at the following priorities:
- We already source 100% of the energy we use from renewable sources and we remain actively engaged in conversation about installing solar PV at suitable sites.
- 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 25% of our total lighting.
- We offer hybrid options at all levels for our company cars and are actively investigating fully electric options, along with plans for infrastructure to support this.
- We expect to have fully electric vehicles in our fleet by end 2022 at the latest. In addition, we are looking at the feasibility of offering charging for customers’ electric vans.
- We will have an electric forklift fleet by 2025.
- 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.
- We continue to look at the efficiency of our delivery fleet. Despite a 14% increase in delivered sales over the year, we reduced CO2 emissions from our fleet in part through investment in a modern fleet of LGVs and vans to replace those we deemed necessary to replace..
- We know we can reduce our delivery emissions further by simply being more intelligent about how we schedule and route our deliveries.
- By the end of 2021, 95% of our general waste will be diverted from landfill.
- 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.
- At our distribution centre we have invested in equipment that turns discarded cardboard into packaging, eliminating any requirement for plastic bubble wrap.
- 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.
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. We commit to providing greener choices across some of our product ranges, with a carefully selected offering available by October 2021.
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.
As just two specific examples of what lies ahead, 28 million homes across the UK require retrofit energy efficiency measures over the next thirty years and in 2025 gas boilers will no longer be fitted to new builds. We know that we can play a significant part in reaching big targets such as these, particularly in our communities in the South West.
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]