In 2016, Wolseley set out five-year targets to lessen the environmental impact of the company and in the four years since has exceeded all of them:
• Target 12% reduction in energy and operations carbon, as of 2020: reduced by 41%
• Target 5% reduction in transport-related carbon, as of 2020: reduced by 20%
• Target 5% reduction in overall waste production, as of 2020: reduced by 22%
• Target 80% of total waste diverted from landfill, as of 2020: –89% diverted.
Looking ahead, Wolseley Plumb & Parts has tasked itself with the new goal of eliminating single-use plastics in all areas of the business. While recognising that this is a challenge, the specialist heating and plumbing merchant has already begun transitioning current processes to accommodate the plastic-free initiative.
In all Wolseley Plumb & Parts branches, installers will be offered products in cardboard boxes and paper bags where possible, not only reducing the dependency on plastic but also allowing customers to easily recycle the packaging once used. Where paper bags are not suitable, the company will be introducing bags-for-life at its trade counters, further reducing the reliance on single-use plastics throughout the business.
Recognising that plastic packaging is still sometimes necessary in parts of its business, Wolseley is working hard to ensure plastic packaging is recycled and recyclable where possible. With the elimination of all plastic within the business now a major priority, routine audit checks will be carried out to ensure continual improvements are made.
Helen Holly, environmental manager at Wolseley, stated: “Merchants play a hugely important role in setting high standards, and as a UK industry leader we are proud to lead the charge in encouraging the adoption of new processes and an industry-wide shift away from single-use plastics.
“We are currently working alongside our suppliers to eliminate single-use plastics entering our business and will also be implementing further initiatives later this year on waste management, transport and energy usage at our UK sites. We must all begin shifting towards hitting the country’s net-zero targets, improving the future of both our business and our environment.”