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We made excellent progress in the first year of our two year target period, reducing carbon per £million of revenue by 10.5%, already exceeding our two-year target of 5%. Wolseley’s absolute carbon emissions have been reduced by 4.7% in one year from 31 July 2014.


Absolute tonnes CO2 diagram


Our approach to measuring carbon was developed in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (“GHG Protocol”). Emissions are calculated using DEFRA carbon factors and are reported as tonnes of CO2 equivalent (abbreviated as tCO2e), based on the Global Warming Potential (“GWP”) of earch of the “basket of six” greenhouse gases, as defined by the Kyoto Protocol.

Inaccuracies identified in prior year numbers resulted in immaterial adjustments to the 2013/14 carbon and waste data.

Due to rounding of the figures in the bar charts and table, there is not a precise correlation with the totals and accurate percentage performance figures.

Carbon emissions and waste

Wolseley’s reported data includes all major businesses and head office locations (with 25 employees or more), representing over 99 per cent of Wolseley Group’s total employee numbers. All Scope 1 and 2 emissions and selected Scope 3 emissions are reported. Scope 1 emissions include vehicle fuel emissions (from owned or leased vehicles) and fuels used for operation including natural gas, LPG, diesel, petrol, oil and refrigerants. Scope 2 emissions include purchased electricity and heat (i.e. district heating). Scope 3 emissions include the road or rail-based transportation of goods by outsourced transport providers, road-based business travel in private vehicles and air and rail-based business travel.

tCO₂e/£m revenue
Carbon emissions 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15 Two-year Variance
Scope 1 & 2 emissions 27.9 28.2 25.2 -10.6%
Scope 3 emissions 8.7 8.6 7.7 -10.5%
Total emissions 36.6 36.8 32.9 -10.5%

As a Group, the biggest contributors to carbon emissions are vehicle fuel (52 per cent of total tCO2e, including both commercial vehicle and company cars, owned and outsourced fleets), and electricity (29 per cent). Fuel consumption for operations (i.e. gas, oil and district heating consumption) represents 16 per cent of the carbon footprint. Refrigerant leakage and rail and air-based business travel account for 1 per cent and 2 per cent respectively.

The improved emissions performance for the Group was driven by a number of initiatives including the switch from road to freight train for product shipments across Canada, the fitting of tracking devices to trucks in the UK and the continued upgrade of company owned or leased fleet.  Low-energy lighting has been installed in further sites across the US, Canada and the UK.  Other initiatives include heating system upgrades and switching from diesel to electric forklift trucks.

Our business units all have two- year targets, achievable by 31 July 2016, to reduce carbon emissions (relative to £million revenue).  The targets cover direct and indirect emissions (scopes 1, 2 and 3).

Additionally, we reduced our suppliers’ emissions through “backhauling”.

In the USA and UK business units, drivers collect products from supplier factories when driving back to their distribution centres (“DCs”), following branch deliveries. In 2014/15 the US business, through its carrier UPS, filled 36 per cent of its DC backhaul “empty miles”.

Case studies