BMF Training Zone July/ August 2021

BMF Training Zone July/ August 2021

Earlier this year, the Construction Leadership Council launched CO2nstruct Zero — a cross industry change programme to drive carbon out of all parts of the construction supply chain by 2050.  From manufacturing and design to construction and operation of assets, the programme sets out how the industry can together meet the Net Zero challenge.

Builders’ merchants and building materials manufacturers have a vital role to play in championing and delivering the changes necessary for success and four of the first 14 zero carbon Business Champions are BMF members — Aco Technologies, APP Wholesale, Bradfords Building Supplies and Travis Perkins Group have each committed to reducing the environmental impact of their operations and supporting others with their low carbon plans.

Of the CO2nstruct Zero programme’s nine priority areas, five are particularly relevant here:

  • Accelerating the shift to zero emission vehicles;
  • Working with Government to deliver retrofitting to improve the energy efficiency of existing housing stock;
  • Scaling up industry capability to deliver low carbon heat solutions in buildings, supporting heat pump deployment, trials of hydrogen heating systems and heat networks;
  • Supporting the development of innovative low carbon materials (in particular concrete and steel) as well as advancing low carbon solutions for manufacturing processes and distribution;
  • Improved onsite logistics, reducing waste and transport to sites.

Three priority areas are the focus for Travis Perkins Group, as Head of Sustainability Megan Adlen explains: “With a large vehicle fleet of our own we need to work collaboratively with industry peers, vehicle manufacturers and the Government to ensure we can decarbonise our fleet.

“A second focus is working with Government to improve the energy efficiency of the existing housing stock. As a leading supplier, the retrofitting of the existing housing stock provides a great opportunity for the business and our customers to support the decarbonisation agenda.

“Our third area is supporting the development of low carbon materials and manufacturing solutions, which our customers are increasingly looking for.”

Bradfords Building Supplies is also looking to work with government to deliver the national retrofit strategy. Giles Bradford, Communications & Engagement Manager, said: “Our close relationship with our trade customers and the RMI sector means we are well positioned to help reduce energy consumption through the whole life of the building and we are listening to our communities to understand the baseline. Our sustainable homes centre in Glastonbury forms a focal point for conversations around sustainable living and achieving net zero in the built environment.”

Bradfords is also working on the logistics and waste aspects of construction with suppliers, customers and within their own estate and deliveries, as well as preparing for electric vehicles (EV).

Matthew Pierce of APP Wholesale, which supplies heating and hot water products, acknowledges the firm is at the start of a long journey to reduce its impact. He said: “We are ultimately a ‘just in time’ distribution company and run a fleet of vehicles to support our customers with their needs. Utilising technology we aim to give our customers not only a better service but also become leaner and save cost to reduce carbon.

“The circular opportunities for the appliances we sell, when they come to the end of their life, are another priority and we are implementing schemes to collect material and fully recycle the product rather than it end up in landfill.”

Finally, Peter Ridgeway, Brand Development Director at ACO says that the company is proud to be the first construction products manufacturer to be awarded BMF Business Champion status. He said: “This is recognition of the huge strides we have made in the last decade in focusing our efforts on sustainability, designing production processes and products to reduce embodied carbon as well as reducing transport and installation carbons.

“We hope that this initiative will help to stimulate collaborative behaviours across supply chains and a cohesive mindset across all disciplines.”

The BMF Members’ Day Conference in September will feature a dedicated section on the drive to net zero. Visit to book your place.

For more information on the BMF net zero Business Champions, click here. 

This article can be found in the July/ August 2021 issue of PBM.

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