The switch to renewables and the drive towards the zero-carbon economy
There’s a lot of change in our sector, especially around heating technologies. The level of disruption this represents for our customers shouldn’t be underestimated. But the plumbing and heating sector, like all industries, has a responsibility to protect the planet and to safeguard the resources that we have for future generations.
Innovation, and emerging technologies such as ground and air heat pumps, hydrogen, and network heating, will play a key role in us hitting net zero by 2030. A big part of what we’re doing now is ensuring that we have the leading propositions in these more efficient technologies, that we understand them, and that we support our customers in making choices around products and services that will improve their environmental performance.
What this looks like in practice
A recent survey run by Wolseley found that almost three quarters of installers are likely to expand into renewables in the next three years. We have plenty of knowledge and expertise when it comes to renewable technologies, so we’re perfectly placed to support our customers as they take steps to transition to renewables.
In February 2022, we launched Wolseley Renewables, our one-stop hub, offering customers the most up-to-date, impartial advice, product support and design services for all of their renewables needs.Detailed results of the study
Supporting our customers as we move towards zero-carbon, renewables, and more carbon efficient products
We are committed to supporting customers in reducing their environmental impacts. This goes beyond offering more carbon efficient options for existing technologies and includes the introduction of other innovative and energy saving products, such as air or ground source heat pumps, hydrogen and network heating, as well as heat saving and online energy saving tools. Including:
- Product Selector Guides: Heat loss calculator | Radiator selector | Refrigeration Selector | Shower Selector
- Trade Guides & Information: Renewables | Boiler equipment | Reducing waste | Smart showering | Energy efficient smart home heating
But that’s not all, we are also committed to supporting our customers in getting the information, upskilling, and guidance they need when it comes to finding out about renewable and other clean technologies.
Click the links below to find out about the latest carbon reducing innovations
Leading the way in the circular economy for the industry
We are already running an industry first ‘circular economy’ scheme with Grundfos.
The scheme, which is already live in selected Wolseley branches across the UK, is focused on recycling domestic and light commercial pumps. The recycling process, which is carried out by Grundfos, consumes only 50% of the water required by the conventional recycling processes and emits 13.5% less greenhouse gases.
Customers simply need to take their old pump(s) to their local Wolseley branch, where it will be placed in storage before being taken away by Grundfos and recycled.Wolseley and Grundfos Take-Back Scheme having a major positive impact
Reducing the impact of our own operations
We have been working with our supplier Lyreco to reduce emissions and to reduce carbon emissions and the impact on the environment caused by multiple small deliveries. And Lyreco are also working to reduce their impact and have committed to reduce their carbon emissions by 20% by 2025.
Since June 2021 we’ve been working with Lyreco to carry out consolidated monthly deliveries throughout the Wolseley branch network. This project has been a huge success and through it we have:
- Decreased the number of separate orders placed by 1,259
- Decreased the number of delivery drops by 1,725
- Increased the average delivery value by £17.02
- Reduced our CO2 emissions from 23.55 tonnes in 2020 to 16.62 tonnes in 2021. A whopping reduction of 6.93 tonnes of CO2
Find out more about our approach to carbon reduction in our annual report.Download a copy of our Annual Report
Zero waste to landfill by 2025
We have committed to sending zero waste to landfill by 2025. We are working on a number of initiatives to achieve this, a number of which are already being integrated into our operational procedures. These include:
- Creating – and issuing every branch with – a new waste guide to make it easier to identify the best disposal route for waste
- Working with the Biffa Waste Management company to conduct waste audits that will identify the various waste streams and to see what waste is being put in the general waste bins
- Reviewing the available recycling options for what is put in the general waste
- Working with our key supplier partners to identify ‘circular economy’ solutions, like the one we have with Grundfos, which will mean resources are returned to suppliers for recycling/remanufacturing
And these initiatives are already working as we have six branches within the Wolseley Pipe and Climate network that are already achieving zero waste to landfill. And one of our branches has requested to remove their general waste bin as they no longer need that one at all.
Not only that, Wolseley UK has 51 sites (over 10% of the branch entire network) that have zero waste to landfill to date this year (March 2022). As a whole business, Wolseley has an average of 84% landfill diversion. The last 16% will not be easy but we believe it is achievable.The importance of moving to zero waste to landfill
What is WEEE?
The Waste Electrical or Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive requires countries to maximise separate collection and environmentally friendly processing of these items.
You can recycle your electrical and electronic equipment free of charge at your local recycling centre. To find more information on WEEE recycling and to locate your nearest recycling centre please visit the www.recycle-more.co.uk website and type in your postcode.
- Unwanted electrical equipment is the UK’s fastest growing type of waste
- Many electrical items can be repaired or recycled, saving natural resources and the environment
- If you do not recycle, electrical equipment will end up in landfill where hazardous substances will leak out and cause soil and water contamination – putting wildlife and human health at risk
How are we helping?
- In the UK, distributors including retailers must provide a system which allows consumers buying new electrical equipment the opportunity to recycle their old items free of charge
- As a responsible retailer, we have met the requirements placed on us by financially supporting the national network of WEEE recycling centres established by local authorities. This is achieved through membership of the national Distributor Take-Back Scheme (DTS)
- Electrical equipment purchased by trade customers must be disposed of by the customer responsibly, as outlined in our terms and conditions
The Waste Batteries and Accumulators Regulations
- Under the Waste Battery Regulations, we are now offering a take-back scheme for all portable waste batteries
- Return your waste batteries to our business premises in person (please do not post)
- Alternatively, you can find your local waste portable battery recycling facility at www.recycle-more.co.uk
- Most supermarkets and shops that sell batteries will have collection bins for used batteries, and some town halls or libraries may also set up collection points. End-users may find stores in their local area more accessible
We’re proud to support your local authority in providing local recycling facilities for electrical equipment.
To remind you that old electrical equipment can be recycled, it is now marked with the crossed-out wheeled bin symbol. Please do not throw any electrical equipment (including those marked with this symbol) in your bin.
Why Wolseley doesn't have an ESG policy
We don’t have a policy specifically about ESG because we don’t believe that our journey in this space should be disconnect and treated as something separate from our day-day work. Our determination to have a positive impact on the environment, on society, on our industry, and on people, should be part of everything we do in Wolseley.
This means that ‘ESG-related’ activities and commitments are incorporated into a number of different policies, such the ones we have around environment, the workplace, product integrity, and ethical supply chain.