Bradfords Building Supplies has recently hosted its inaugural ‘Building Sustainable Communities’ event, kicking off a new series aimed at promoting sustainability for the built environment in the South West.
The event took place at Somerset County Cricket Club and was created in partnership with TrustMark, with Rockwool UK as the main sponsor. Delegates came from across the region to hear from experts who addressed the topics of both retrofitting existing properties and the challenges and opportunities in taking a low carbon approach to new builds.
Giles Bradford, Head of Sustainability at Bradfords Building Supplies, said: “With the built environment contributing around 40% of the UK’s carbon emissions, it was no surprise the construction industry was on the agenda at COP26 in Glasgow this month.
“From self-builders, home renovators and architects to construction students and their tutors, we were excited to see a broad range of attendees at the event, who all face similar challenges when approaching construction projects from an environmentally sustainable perspective. We hope we’ve given them the information – and inspiration – they need to feel more confident about the challenges ahead and the solutions available.”
Simon Ayres, Chief Executive at TrustMark, added: “It’s heartening to see the level of interest from attendees on how we can work together to improve outcomes for customers and sustainability for industry, particularly in the retrofit sector. With the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in order to meet the UK’s net zero targets, it’s vital that we build understanding by sharing information in these key areas. This series of events is another step along that path.”
Mark Bungay, Commercial Director, Rockwool UK, commented: “We can’t tackle climate change without tackling the energy efficiency of buildings, so we were honoured to be a part of this important event. The session prompted critical discussions around how we can work better together to improve the thermal performance of buildings in the South West, making a difference for both current and future generations.”
Additional event sponsors included Polypipe Civils & Green Urbanisation, plus ACO Technology and Marshalls. For anyone who was unable to attend the event, the sessions are available to watch via www.bradfords.co.uk/buildingsustainablecommunities
The merchant has also recently appointed an initial team of Sustainability Champions across its network as part of its drive to support the construction industry in meeting the government’s net zero targets and to enhance its own environmental sustainability.
Seven team members at Bradfords so far have volunteered for the role of Sustainability Champion. Their objective will be helping to deliver the company’s sustainability strategy by engaging with fellow employees at department or branch level and to support customers in considering environmentally friendly options for their projects.
Those selected have been chosen for their commitment and enthusiasm for the cause and are spread across various roles and branch locations.
Giles Bradford said: “Our Sustainability Champions will both champion the measures and behaviours we need to adopt to get ourselves to net carbon zero, but will also be first port of call for customers who want to incorporate low carbon, energy efficient, renewable or recycled products into their projects. We will involve them in the conversations we have as a business as we continue to develop our own route to net carbon zero.
“They will be fully supported in this new aspect of their roles, where we’ll help them to develop and feel empowered as an important part of the team. This will include thorough training and the opportunity to attend key environmental sustainability events.”
Megan Norbury, one of the volunteers and part of the Bradfords customer service team, added: “I feel so much of the focus on being more sustainable is on things like not using single-use plastic and remembering to turn off lights, but actually the bigger picture is so much larger than that. There are building projects going on everywhere and if we can start to tackle environmental sustainability in the construction sector, I think we have a very big chance of making the difference we have to make to meet UK targets.
“Though Bradfords is a big company, we all talk to each other a lot, especially those of us in customer service as we speak to different branches every day. Having dedicated individuals focusing on sustainability encourages others to get in touch and ask for help. I’m particularly excited about learning about new environmentally friendly products and helping customers to make more sustainable choices.”