Anna James, environment & quality advisor at Plumbase
Activities under the new initiative include plastic bag elimination and introducing LED lighting across its distribution centres, to investing in more efficient vehicles and switching to renewable energy. Meanwhile, the merchant has grand plans to further reduce its carbon footprint and environmental impact across all of its branches, nationwide.
Earlier in the year, Plumbase announced its partnership with Big Clean Switch, a social business which helps people and businesses to move to renewable electricity providers. As well as the business’s own energy coming from renewable sources, those working with Plumbase can also quickly and easily switch to the clean energy supplier.
With the aim of reducing its carbon emissions from vehicles by 351 tonnes in 2019, the company has already invested in 25 new vans which produce 288g less CO2 per km than the Euro 6 standard requires. Plumbase is also planning to take further steps to reduce pollution as a result of travel by investing in more efficient vehicles, encouraging more fuel-efficient driving and increasing the range of hybrid vehicles available as company cars.
The merchant has also made the decision to become plastic bag free, having replaced them with paper alternatives. Each branch is actively encouraging its customers to re-use bags through posters explaining the environmental impact of plastic in our oceans.
In terms of future objectives, the company will be exploring material recycling in more detail and working closely with suppliers in order to reduce product packaging, where possible. With the aim of reducing its carbon footprint by as much as 70%, the merchant plans to extend its use of LED lighting across the entire business, including all branches.
Anna James, environment & quality advisor at Plumbase, explains: “We are passionate about becoming an environmental leader in our industry. As a merchant, we have a responsibility to make being sustainable as easy as possible for our staff and customers.
“A lot of the time it comes down to educating our staff and customers to be more mindful and less wasteful, which I am determined to do. Equally, it’s important to realise that what may seem to be simple small changes can have a significant impact in the long-term. For example, just by educating Plumbase staff on setting boiler timers, the company can save as much as 5.8 tonnes of CO2 and £2,400 per branch, per year in gas.
“Having targets in place is key to making sure we stay on track as a business. Becoming environmentally-friendly as a large company is no simple feat, but it’s a challenge we’re certainly up for.”
Plumbase is ISO 140001 accredited and is externally audited to ensure it meets the required standards.