While providing our customers with environmental and sustainable products, and information on how to use them is a core aim of Grafton Group plc our commitment to the environment does not stop there. We are also focused on waste management, carbon reduction, sustainable sourcing of timber and complying with all environmental legislation.
The Group recognises the increasing importance of supplying renewable and sustainable products. Product ranges designed to provide sustainable building solutions have been introduced. These ranges include Solar Thermal and Solar PV, air source heat pumps, ground source heat pumps, biomass heating, rainwater harvesting and heat recovery ventilation systems. The Woodie's DIY business offers a range of environmentally friendly products including energy-saving lamps, solar garden lights and composters for recycling garden and household waste. The merchanting branches stock condensing boilers which reduce demand for fossil fuels, energy-saving insulation materials and controlled ventilation systems.
The Plumbase brand is an accredited supplier in the UK Government’s Eco scheme; an initiative to encourage home and business owners to improve the energy efficiency of their properties. The brand works with registered installers to deliver the energy-efficient products that are helping to reduce UK consumers’ energy use and household bills.
CPI Mortars trace constituent materials for their products from sustainably managed sources, allowing them to achieve accreditation to BES 6001, the Sustainability Standard.
Buildbase has adopted the Timber Trades Federation 'Responsible Purchasing Policy'. This demonstrates that the business is committed to sourcing timber and timber products from legal and well-managed forests and supports the UK/EU global objective to stop illegal logging. Buildbase holds an internationally recognized environmental certificate for the PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) scheme. It is Buildbase policy that its natural timber products are FSC/PEFC accredited. The entire operation is independently audited to guarantee that timber is legally harvested and originates from a sustainable source.
As a supplier of building materials and associated products, the Group strives to reduce waste going to landfill by increasing levels of recycling. The merchanting and mortar manufacturing businesses in the UK are working with Biffa, a recycling-led waste management company, to deliver a sustainable waste strategy and to optimise waste disposal methods. Waste recycling rates improved during 2014, with the company now recycling 80% of waste, an increase of 4 percent on the previous year. The UK merchanting business aims to achieve a higher recycling rate across the business by driving awareness and behaviour throughout the branch network. Larger branches have baling machines to further increase the recycling of cardboard and plastic.
Grafton Merchanting GB has been measuring its carbon footprint since 2009 and has made year-on-year reductions; largely through efficiencies in transport fleet management. Carbon equivalent emissions per £million of turnover have been reduced by 19% since 2009, from 47 to 38 tonnes.
In 2012 the UK merchanting business focused on a move to more fuel efficient vehicles in the car fleet that provided a significant reduction in the average emissions per vehicle. In 2013 the business renewed its focus on reducing vehicle emissions in the commercial fleet by encouraging the adoption of more fuel efficient driving techniques, underpinned by improved driver education and training.
Various of our businesses have worked with our utility service providers to introduce automatic meter readers at branch locations. This enabled the company to accurately monitor usage of both gas and electricity and to set targets for branches to reduce energy consumption. Several energy-reduction trials have been conducted, which have helped to identify potential energy savings.
The UK merchanting and mortar manufacturing businesses are ISO 14001 certified. Each trading branch has a Branch Environmental Champion who is responsible for monitoring and managing policies and procedures contained in their Environmental Manual.
In 2014 CPI Mortars achieved accreditation to the BES6001 sustainability standard, thus demonstrating our commitment to minimising the environmental impact of all aspects of its operations.