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We are making excellent progress towards our two-year Group emissions target of -7.5% (relative to £m revenue).

Wolseley's absolute carbon emissions reduced by 4.5 per cent during 2012/13.

Absolute greenhouse gas emissions

Absolute greenhouse gas emissions

*2011/12 numbers have been rebased. See the Environmental performance page for further detail. 

Emissions have been reported in accordance with the GreenhouseGas Protocol (“GHG Protocol”).  Wolseley reports on its Scope 1, Scope 2 and selected Scope 3 emissions.  Reported Scope 1 emissions include vehicle fuel emissions (from owned or leasedvehicles) and fuels used for operation including natural gas, LPG,diesel, petrol and oil.  Scope 2 emissions include purchased electricity and heat (i.e. district heating). Scope 3 emissions include the road-based transportation of goods by outsourced transport providers, road-based business travel in private vehicles and air and rail-based business travel.

The Company’s emissions data has been presented differently in the chart (above) this year (and retrospectively for 2011/12) to ensure that the direct (Scope 1) and indirect (Scope 3) emissions related to “vehicle fuel use: goods transport: fuel use” and “vehicle fuel use: business travel” are separated.  Direct emissions relate to vehicles owned or leased by our businesses.  Indirect emissions relate to vehicles that are not owned or leased by our businesses, such as those of an outsourced transport provider, or our employees’ own vehicles.  Performance by scope can be seen in the table below:

tCO2e by
Absolute tCO2e Relative tCO2e
(per £m revenue)
2011/12 2012/13 Variation 2011/12 2012/13 Variation
Scope 1 268,911 216,167 -19.5% 20.8 16.4 -20.9%
Scope 2 151,866 149,684 -1.4% 11.7 11.4 -3.0%
Scope 3 72,391 104,903 44.9% 5.6 8.0 42.6%
Total 493,167 470,754 -4.5% 38.1 35.8 -6.1%

The increase in Scope 3 carbon is due to the reclassification of the relevant vehicle fuel data from Scope 1 to Scope 3.

As a Group, the biggest contributors to carbon emissions are vehicle fuel (51 per cent of total tCO2e, including both commercial vehicle and company cars, owned and outsourced fleets), and electricity (31 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’s commercial fleet (2.5 per cent improvement) was driven by a number of initiatives including the implementation of route optimisation programmes, the fitting of tracking devices to trucks and running eco-driver training. Company car fleets continue to be upgraded with more fuel-efficient vehicles.  The USA has expanded its successful energy-efficient lighting programme into more new locations. The Canadian business unit has begun a programme to switch the entire estate to low-energy lighting. Other initiatives include heating system upgrades and fuel-switching (i.e. oil to electric heating).

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 2012/13 the US business, through its carrier UPS, filled 41 per cent of its DC backhaul “empty miles”, compared to 39 per cent in 2011/12.

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