BMF commits to zero carbon operations

BMF commits to zero carbon operations

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) has signed up to the SME Climate Commitment and pledged to take action to halve its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and achieve net zero emissions by 2040.

The announcement comes the day after the publication of the United Nations’ landmark scientific report confirming the devastating impact of human activity on the earth’s climate and the immediate need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to limit global warming.

BMF CEO John Newcomb said: “Climate change poses a threat to the economy, nature and society at large, and reducing carbon emissions is something businesses of every size must act upon. The BMF is supporting and promoting the Construction Leadership Council’s ConstructZero programme and encouraging our members to become Net Zero Business Champions.

“But it is just as important for us to take proactive steps to reduce our own carbon impact as well as supporting our members on their path to net zero. We encourage every member business, no matter what their size, to take action now.”

The BMF’s net zero project group has been meeting regularly since March to assess their current environmental impact and identify short, medium and longer term actions they can take to reduce carbon output, create a healthier working environment and, ultimately, save on operating costs.

The BMF’s Tracy Wootton, who is leading the net zero team, said: “Assessing our carbon impact at the outset of our journey will enable us to accurately measure our progress. As a first step we have reviewed the day to day sustainability of our operations, for example  lighting, climate control, printers and toner waste, use of plastics and travel / car use and have already identified simple and relatively low cost ways to reduce our carbon output and create a healthier working environment. We are also speaking to our suppliers and utilities companies to confirm their commitment to zero carbon.”

Simple first steps implemented by the BMF include increased use of LED and movement activated lighting, using paper rather than plastic wrappers to mail out its magazine and year books, moving from individual desk printers to larger shared printers, and using sustainable promotional materials for conferences and events.

The BMF is also investigating financial incentives available for green initiatives to support medium to longer term objectives including the installation of electric vehicle charging points, solar panels, and changes to the current heating and ventilation systems.

Earlier this year the BMF introduced a new Sustainability Forum, to bring together merchants and supplier members for regular briefings and discussions on net zero objectives and to share progress and best practice. The Forum, which next meets on 27 November, is chaired by Giles Bradford of Bradfords Building Supplies – one of the first companies to become a ConstructZero Business Champion.

Sustainability features strongly in the four major BMF events this Autumn, with Andrew Griffith MP, the UK’s Net Zero Business Champion speaking at its Members’ Day Conference on 23 September; low carbon building materials showcased at the BMF Parliamentary Reception in October; Galion Homes speaking on sustainable construction at the BMF Young Merchant Conference in October, and a dedicated Sustainability Forum at the BMF All Industry Conference in November.

Find out more about the SME Climate Commitment and Climate Commitment Hub at

Book your place at the next BMF Sustainability Forum here.

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