Our environment

The Company is committed to implementing the correct policies and procedures relating to the sustainability of the environment, and mitigating its impact on the environment. The Company endeavours to lead by example and provides the managers of its businesses with guidance on waste reduction, recycling and consumption of utilities.

In general, and as part of its commitment to the environment, the Company is actively migrating away from paper-based systems to handheld paperless delivery and invoicing techniques.

The waste arising from the Company’s operations is predominantly protective plastic packaging, cardboard poles and boxes, and wooden pallets. The cardboard poles from the centre of rolls and cut lengths of carpet and vinyl delivered to our customers are subsequently collected from their premises, with the Company providing a financial incentive to its drivers to do so. They are re-used until no longer fit for purpose and then recycled.

The Company continually seeks to increase the proportion of its waste it recycles, baling plastics and cardboard, and stacking unwanted pallets for dispatch to specialist reprocessing agents (when it is economic to do so), which has significantly reduced the quantity of waste going to landfill sites.

The Company makes a concerted effort to utilise recycled materials wherever possible in its operations. The packaging film used for broadloom at the Company’s distribution hubs in Coleshill and Tamworth, and some other locations, is 100% recycled from used polyethylene. During 2018 more of the Company’s locations will utilise the same material, machinery permitting.

Reflective of the Company’s commitment to recycling, Headlam was awarded a trophy for ‘Longstanding Support’ at the Carpet Recycling UK Awards for Good Practice 2017. Carpet Recycling UK is a not-for-profit membership association working to increase the recycling of carpet waste across the UK, and Headlam is very proud to be a member and help increase awareness. According to Carpet Recycling UK, 168,000 tonnes of carpet was recovered in 2017 (for reuse, recycling or energy recovery) equivalent to a landfill diversion rate of 42%, a 7% increase on 2016 recovery, and showing strong progress towards their goal of 60% by 2020.

Within the UK, the Company seeks to ensure compliance with the Producer Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007 (as amended). The Company is a member of an organisation called VALPACK. VALPACK provides compliance services to its members by analysing the packaging waste data submitted by each member organisation on an annual basis and comparing it with comparative data in order to be able to confirm to the Environment Agency that its members (including the Company) are continuing to meet UK recycling and recovery standards.

Carpet Recycling Awards 2017

The Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) is a voluntary accreditation scheme that promotes best practice for commercial vehicle operators. FORS encompasses all aspects of safety, efficiency, and environmental protection by encouraging and training fleet operators to measure, monitor and improve performance. FORS operators demonstrate commitment to managing road risk, reducing environmental impact and improving operational efficiency, all of which improve overall fleet road safety and lessen the wider impacts of freight and fleet operations.

Six of the Company’s businesses locations have achieved and hold FORS Bronze accreditation, with an additional business holding FORS Silver. It is the Company’s ambition to add to this number of accreditations and progress up the membership levels as part of its commitment to achieving exemplary levels of best practice, and as FORS is rolled out nationwide beyond its original London focus.

 

European emission standards define the acceptable limits for exhaust emissions of new vehicles sold in EU and EEA member states with the aim of improving air quality across the European Union. All the Company’s new commercial and motor vehicles delivered since October 2014 have been compliant with the latest Euro 6 emission standards despite it having only become binding from September 2015. Currently 285 vehicles within the commercial fleet are Euro 6 compliant, and with another 75 commercial vehicles expected to be replaced during 2018, over 80% of the commercial fleet is expected to be Euro 6 compliant by the end of 2018.

The Company currently holds 12 operator licences, 11 of which have roadworthiness scores within the highest band (Green) under the Operator Compliance Risk Score (‘OCRS’) system developed by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (‘DVSA’). The OCRS roadworthiness score is concerned with the condition of a vehicle and is generated by roadside inspections that are carried out by the DVSA.

The Company is committed to assessing and improving the efficiency of its product delivery and limiting its vehicle emissions where possible. 

As an importer of wood products from outside the EU, the Company has a procedure in place to comply with the requirements of the European Union Timber Regulations 2013.  It applies a due diligence process to mitigate the risk of illegally sourced timber within the supply chain process and as a result is able to compile a document trail confirming that the wood products are sourced from authorised and renewable supplies. As part of this procedure, the Company also makes enquiries to ensure that the manufacturers dealt with do not use child labour or exploit children and treat their workforce fairly. The Company will always visit a factory prior to making purchases to check it’s operating standards and capabilities.

The Company monitors greenhouse gases on a consistent basis with the aim of improving its use of energy, water, recyclable and non-recyclable resources, ensuring long-term environmental and business sustainability and creating long-term value for shareholders and other stakeholders. While the Company recognises its business can have a direct and indirect effect upon the environment, owing to the nature of its operations and proactive approach when planning and developing any new facilities, the Company believes that its activities generally have a low impact on the environment. There were no environmental legal or compliance issues arising during the year.

Water

Water consumption arises predominantly in respect of employee welfare and commercial vehicle washing. The majority of water charges are in respect of water supplied and used. The Company encourages its drivers to keep the commercial vehicles clean and tidy and, to assist them, has a combination of jet wash machines and, at four of the largest distribution facilities, specialist truck washes. Each truck wash utilises 100% recycled water, helping with conservation, and environmentally friendly washing detergents.

The Company seeks to reduce water consumption and charges by analysing invoices received in respect of water, through the installation of water meters and by reducing consumption through repair, renewal or installation of equipment to improve efficiency.

Water consumption in 2017 of 32,112 cubic metres was consistent with each of the previous three years.

Electricity

Electricity consumption continues to be predominantly in respect of forklift truck battery charging, the operation of specialist cutting tables used to cut lengths from full and part rolls of broadloom products, associated mechanical handling and compressed air equipment, office and warehouse lighting and office equipment. Modern and energy efficient construction techniques and products are incorporated when investing in new facilities or undertake refurbishment or repair works, which are more efficient, automatically switching off during periods of inactivity.

Photovoltaic panels, installed on the roof of the Company’s Coleshill distribution hub, generate an estimated 46,000 kWh of electricity. Future construction projects will similarly incorporate intelligent lighting systems and, where practical, renewable energy solutions. The Company is progressively installing more energy efficient LED units when undertaking lighting repairs and replacement.

Gas

Gas is consumed predominantly in respect of office heating and very limited localised radiant heating above work stations on the cutting tables located within the distribution hubs and centres. Future savings in the consumption of electricity and gas have been identified through the installation of sophisticated heating control systems either in new facilities or during refurbishment works. Consideration will be given to installing such control systems in other premises if considered viable.

Electricity and gas supplies in the UK are purchased on a Company contract basis. The actual cost of electricity and gas in 2017 was comparable to prior years, and represented 0.13% of revenue.

The Company is required to report on all the measured emissions sources under The Companies Act 2006 (Strategic Report and Directors’ Report) Regulations 2013. Data has been collected in accordance with the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme. Conversion factors for electricity, gas and fuel are those published by the Carbon Trust.

Fuel type 2017
CO2 / Tonnes
2016
CO2 / Tonnes
2015
CO2 / Tonnes
Electricity  2,736 4,111 4,348
Gas  783 1,052 1,010
Commercial vehicle fuel  18,004 19,597 18,153
Car fuel  4853 4,780 4,603
Total  26,376 29,540 28,114
Tonnes per £1 million revenue  37 45 43

ESOS is a mandatory energy assessment scheme for large organisations in the UK, an assessment for which was carried out by an external assessor in late 2015 to comply with the deadline of December 2015. Further audits are required every four years following and thus the next audit is not anticipated or required until December 2019. Due to the mix of energy, with the majority related to transport fuel, the assessment comprised an audit of the energy used by the Company’s transport activities, there being no requirement to audit the energy consumed in respect of buildings and industrial processes.