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Bradfords Sustainability

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Making sustainable buildings for the future

Whether your home is still a plan on paper or already built, making it ready for the future means ensuring that it needs less energy to keep it warm, and making sure what energy you do use is from renewable low carbon sources, as well as minimising water consumption. Being warm and being comfortable are not necessarily mutually assured, so it is important that you get this balance right through correctly achieving a level of airtightness, moisture control, and crucially effective ventilation. Get this right and you’re doing your bit to save the planet as well as reducing your energy and utility bills. You’ll also be living in a healthier home.

It is important to note as you enter the interactive Bradfords house that your house is a system. All the measures highlighted here are individually beneficial, but the real benefit comes from using them as part of the whole system and ensuring that your approach is one of ‘whole house’. We know that for retrofit, many people will do things one step at a time, but having a whole house plan is important to make sure you’re doing the steps in a sensible order. We can help you with that. For a new build, we know that everyone works to a budget, so again it is worth investing the time in understanding where you will get the most benefit, and where it might be possible to install measures as a retrofit at a later date.

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There are plenty of organisations out there to help you when it comes to building more sustainably, and doing it right. In our ‘home office’ are a few links to sites you may find useful. In addition we have access to all the technical details and data from our suppliers which we can use to help you as you specify what you need for your build.

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Sourcing materials with the environment in mind

A material might be incredibly good at reducing carbon emissions or energy consumption through the life of a building, but at Bradfords we know we need to make sure that its sourcing is every bit as sustainable. We know the integrity and transparency of our supply chain matters, and we are part of a joint sector project to ensure that you never have to question the integrity of the products that you buy.

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How we’re making Bradfords greener

Whilst we’re helping you to reduce the environmental impact of your home, at Bradfords we’re busy making sure that we do our bit too. Using globally recognised frameworks to develop our top level sustainability strategy, at the coal face we’ve already started our decarbonisation, reduction in energy consumption and waste, and are challenging our suppliers to provide us with the most environmentally sustainable materials and products for your projects. To date we have:

  • Replaced nearly 80% of our lights with low energy LEDS
  • Started our electric forklift programme, with three of our branches now switched across to fully electric forks only, and a further 5 at least to follow in 2023.
  • Switched to an electricity supply which is sourced only from renewables
  • Replaced all our printers with more energy efficient and sustainably manufactured machines which use less paper and ink.
  • Changed all our store carry-out bags to paper.
  • Committed to a solar programme that sees at least 3 of our branches a year fitted with solar PV systems.
  • Designed new stores to have low carbon heating, minimise use of concrete, be more thermally efficient and comfortable for our staff, and be fully ready for the electrification of vehicles. In addition we are looking at rainwater harvesting and green walls.
  • Achieved 64% avoidance of waste to landfill, with ambitious goals to reach 95% by 2025, and 0% by 2027.
  • Increased the number of plastic and cardboard balers across our estate to improve recycling rate.

We’re committed to doing the right thing, and to helping our communities do so too. To keep up to date with what Bradfords are up to when it comes to sustainability keep an eye on our social channels and our Building Sustainable Communities webpage:

Illustration of house roof Illustration of a kitchen Illustration of a bathroom Illustration of a living room Illustration of the outside of a house Our supply chain and sustainabilityOrange circle AtticOrange circle BathroomOrange circle Bradfords commitment to sustainabilityOrange circle StudyOrange circle KitchenOrange circle Living roomOrange circle GarageOrange circle Home Energy Efficiency TrustmarkHome Energy Efficiency


Need to find a reputable tradesperson to make the improvements you want to your home? Trustmark is the government endorsed quality scheme covering work a consumer chooses to have done in their home, including energy efficiency retrofit measures. At their website: a directory of Trustmark certified trades, as well as sound advice, information and guidance on retrofit, grants available and more.

Home Energy Efficiency Simple EnergyHome Energy Efficiency

Simple Energy

Impartial and independent advice on how to improve the energy efficiency of your home based on the standards developed by government:

- Reduce your energy bills
- Make your home warmer
- Plan home improvements
- Make your home greener

Home Energy Efficiency Carbon Footprint CalculatorHome Energy Efficiency

Energy Saving Trust

Full of sensible content around how you can reduce your home’s carbon footprint as well as saving you money.

Energy advice for your home - Energy Saving Trust

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Bradfords recognises that the independent certification of forests and process chains is the most useful tool in providing assurances that the timber comes from legal and well-managed forests. We operate a fully certified and accredited Timber Chain of Custody system which is audited annually. Bradfords will only accept or use labels or certificates which include environmental or sustainability claims if these are supported by publicly available standards, drawn up in a fully participatory transparent and objective manner and backed by independent inspection.

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Supply Chain Integrity

At Bradfords we want to make sure that products we supply are not only the best for the job but are ethically sourced and create the minimum negative impact on the environment. Understanding this from extraction of raw material, through manufacture and on to logistics we know is increasingly important. We’re working with the Builders’ Merchants Federation to improve the transparency and simplicity of information about the sourcing, manufacture and transport of building supplies and will add this information to our products.

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Over 70% of our carbon footprint comes from our delivery fleet. It’s where we can make the most impact and at the same time the most challenging area to address. To reduce the absolute emissions associated with our lorries and vans we are:

- When appropriate, replacing our lorries with the latest Euro 6 compliant models, whilst keeping a close eye on developments in hydrogen technology which we see as the longer term solution.

- Looking at how we get cleverer with our delivery efficiency, whether that’s dropping heavy loads first, or simply making routeing more efficient. And making sure that we get it right – taking the right materials to the right location so that we don’t have to make unnecessary returns to sites.

- Continuing to ensure our drivers have the training so they consider fuel economy when operating their vehicles.

- Investigating offsetting to provide a way to reduce our impact until technology allows us to have zero emission delivery vehicles.

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All our electricity is sourced from renewables. We’ve been like that for 2 years now. We follow ESOS 2 best practice for reducing energy consumption. We have 44 branches to get to net carbon zero and are investigating how to do this, with a now accelerated programme to install solar PV across the estate. Any new branches we build meet this standard from the outset. We are 80% through a programme to replace all lights in our estate with LEDs.

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By the end of 2025, over 95% of our waste will be diverted from landfill. We reuse cardboard packaging in our distribution centres which means we no longer use any plastic packing materials. All our branches have recycling facilities, including the ability to bale plastic. We are in active conversation with suppliers around how they minimise packaging of their products, and how we can return as much of the recyclable and reusable packaging to them.

Home Energy Efficiency InsulationHome Energy Efficiency


The key to keeping heat in and (when required) out of the house. Depending upon where you’re insulating will define what insulation you need, but there are many different options to meet those requirements. Talk to our teams about what you want to achieve, and we’ll help you specify the right product.

Get in touch via this form

Home Energy Efficiency AirtightnessHome Energy Efficiency


There’s more to the insulation story than just the insulation material. You need to minimise leakage and thermal bridging, and as far as possible make any insulation measures you put in airtight. Leakage can be up to 30% of heat loss in a modern building, so getting this right is imperative.

Key to achieving this is the detailing conducted by whoever fits your insulation. But there are some great products if you’re simply trying to improve already insulated spaces, or want to make sure that nothing is left to chance.

To find out more contact our team via this form.

Heat and Energy SolarHeat and Energy


Solar PV (photovoltaic – generating electricity as opposed to solar thermal which heats water) provides a zero carbon source of electricity for your building. With energy tariffs which encourage use of grid energy at night, solar allows you to take advantage of the sun during the day to reduce your electricity bill, reduce your carbon footprint, and provide resilience. Combine with a battery storage facility and you have 24 hour electricity from the sun.

We work with certified partners to provide high quality solar PV solutions to both new build and retrofit projects. To get us to help you design the optimal system for your project get in touch via this form.

Home Energy Efficiency WindowsHome Energy Efficiency


Windows provide a natural source of light and ventilation, both of which are essential for a comfortable home, but also up to 15% of heat loss in a property occurs through them. This can be significantly reduced by choosing the right windows and making sure that they are fitted to operate as efficiently as they can. If you are doing a new build or an extension, getting the windows right can positively affect how you achieve the desired u-value (the thermal efficiency of your property), and may in many cases impact your materials bill for other items. Talk to us about how we can help you pick the right window system for your project.

Want to improve your windows? Please tell us more.

Heat and Energy Hot water systemsHeat and Energy

Hot water systems

Once your water is hot you want to make sure it stays that way, and that you can use it efficiently. Modern hot water tank insulation, thermostats and smart systems to ensure you only have it when you need it mean that you can have a better hot water service whilst also preserving both the planet and your cash. Get in touch to discuss how you get the best hot water solution for your home.

Want to look at improving the efficiency of your water heating? Please fill in this enquiry form and we'll make sure one of our experts gets in touch to help you out.

Home Energy Efficiency Floor insulationHome Energy Efficiency

Floor insulation

Up to 15% of heat loss occurs through the floors of our homes if they’re not well insulated. To maximise the benefit of floor insulation, consideration should be given to ensuring there are no gaps, that moisture is controlled properly, and the necessary ventilation measures are in place.

We work with many of the main suppliers of high performance underfloor insulation solutions. Get in touch or send us your plans and we can work with you to make sure you get the right solution for your home or project.

Want to know more about underfloor insulation or have plans and want to see if we can supply the materials to do so? Please fill out this form, and by all means upload your plans and one of our team will get back to you to help.

Heat and Energy Underfloor heatingHeat and Energy

Underfloor heating

If you’re doing an extension or new build you may wish to consider underfloor heating. More compatible with low carbon heat sources like air source heat pumps, underfloor heating is an efficient and comfortable way to heat spaces in your home. Underfloor heating can be a hot water or electric system – get in touch with our teams to find out what will work best for you.

Ask us about underfloor heating systems. If you already have schematic plans, why not upload them to see if we can offer you a competitive and quality system.

Want to know more about underfloor heating systems? Simply submit this enquiry form, and if you have them, upload your plans, and we'll get back to you to discuss how we can help.

Water Conservation, Heating and WasteWater conservationWater Conservation, Heating and Waste

Water conservation

Most modern shower and tap units come with flow restrictors fitted as standard. Whilst you’re unlikely to feel any difference in the pressure of water coming from the tap, you’re actually using significantly less water: which means less drainage too.

If you’re putting in a new bathroom, you may want to consider the volume of the bath you are fitting as well. Ask us about flow restrictors and low volume taps, showers and baths today.

To find out more information on measures to conserve water in your home click here.

Heat and Energy Waste water heat recoveryHeat and Energy

Waste water heat recovery

The water that drains from your shower still has significant heat in it. Waste Water Heat Recovery Systems (WWHRS) can be fitted to recover this heat and use it to reduce the amount of energy you need to heat your water. WWHRS have been included in the latest building regulations about heat conservation and enhance your ability to improve the EPC of your house. Get in touch if you want to explore putting this system into your shower system.

Please get in touch using this form if you want to know more and get guidance on waste water heat recovery systems.

Home Energy Efficiency VentilationHome Energy Efficiency


Ventilation in your home is critical: to maintaining both temperature and air quality. Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery systems make sure that not only is your home well and efficiently ventilated, but also makes sure that you extract any heat in air on its way out of the house to use elsewhere to keep your home warm and comfortable.

MHVR can be fitted on a room-by-room basis (usually for retrofit) or as a whole house system.

If you want to find out more about MHVR or discuss your plans for it in your project, please fill out this form and we'll get back to you.

Home Energy Efficiency External DoorsHome Energy Efficiency

External Doors

Gaps around windows and doors can contribute up to 25% of the heat loss in your home. Modern doors should act like an extension of the walls of your house, being insulated and fitted such that there are no gaps for cold drafts to enter through or for warm air to escape. Super-efficient new doors are the best solution, but if you’re not ready for that yet, talk to us about draft-proofing and options to up the performance of your current doors.

Want help choosing the best external doors for your project? Give us a shout and we'll get one of our team to get in touch to help.

Home Energy Efficiency Building FabricHome Energy Efficiency

Building Fabric

Whether you live in a 15th century farm cottage or are starting from scratch, the shell of your building is the most important aspect when it comes to heat loss, insulation, and moisture control.

For existing properties, retrofitting options will depend upon the construction of your walls and we recommend taking advice from a Trustmark approved retrofit coordinator before coming to us for the materials you’ll need.

If you’re planning a self-build, there are numerous methods of construction to achieve the performance you want. Talk to us about your options, including the most sustainable insulation, or come and visit us at our stand at the National Self-Build and Renovation Centre.

Please submit this enquiry form if you want more support about improving the performance of your walls, or want guidance on what system to use for your project.

Heat and Energy Heating systemsHeat and Energy

Heating systems

Traditional radiators are inefficient when compared to modern alternatives, whether that’s larger versions to support low temperature systems fed from air source heat pumps, underfloor systems, heat batteries (modern super-efficient storage heaters which use state change to store and emit heat), or infra-red panels which can even be hidden in your plaster or presented as mirrors or pictures on your walls. Get in touch to let us help you choose the best solution for your project.

Please fill out this enquiry form if you'd like more help on heating systems for your home or project.

Heat and Energy Electric vehicle chargingHeat and Energy

Electric vehicle charging

The charging infrastructure in the UK is still developing, so to make best use of your hybrid or electric vehicle, a charging point is essential. At Bradfords we supply the latest chargers to meet most requirements through our partners, Rolec.

With smart energy tariffs, you can get the cost of electric driving down to about a 6th of the cost per mile.

For more information and advice on EV chargers, please fill out this form and we'll get in touch.

Heat and Energy Heat pumpsHeat and Energy

Heat pumps

Air Source Heat Pumps are an efficient low carbon way to heat your home and water. The best systems convert every unit of electrical energy you put in into 4 of heat energy. However, to make the most of them, systems thinking is essential; the downstream plumbing, tanks, radiators and pipes must all be optimised.

Talk to us at Bradfords about the suitability of an air source heat pump for your project, or alternatives such as ground source heat pumps, hydrogen ready boilers.

Water Conservation, Heating and Waste Rainwater harvestingWater Conservation, Heating and Waste

Rainwater harvesting

The UK is almost unique in having only potable (drinking quality) water coming through the taps. Rainwater harvesting systems can mitigate the need to use high quality drinking water for those aspects of your home which don’t need it, as well as significantly reducing your water bills. Systems can be as simple as a water butt connected to your gutters to collect water for watering the garden, through to efficient systems which clean, treat and filter rainwater so it can be used for loo flushing, washing machines, washing up or showering.

Want to know more about rainwater harvesting systems and discuss what would work for your project or home. Please fill in this form and we'll get back to you.

Water Conservation, Heating and Waste DrainageWater Conservation, Heating and Waste


Once under the ground, you won’t see this crucial part of your home. However, you want to make sure that the water that needs to leave your property, whether as waste or run off, does so effectively and without impact on the environment. Talk to us about designing this into your project from the outset, and the great product range we have to help you do just that.

To find out more and get advice on Sustainable drainage systems for your project, please fill out this form and we'll get back to you.