Our carbon emissions per $ million revenue, (shown in figure 1) improved by 12.9 per cent compared to the 2015/16 baseline (20.3 tCO2e per $m revenue in 2018/19 compared to 23.3 tCO2e per $m revenue in 2015/16). The significant improvement year-over-year was as a result of carbon reduction initiatives in the year. We also benefited from a continued reduction in Scope 2 emissions due to a cleaner conventional electricity grid mix in the countries where we operate.
The Group grew in both size and revenue in 2018/19, and as a result, our Scope 1 and Scope 3 emissions grew year-over-year. Scope 1 emissions increased as our businesses experienced a higher number of heating days in 2018/19, which increased our natural gas usage. Our owned fleet vehicles also contributed to the increase in our Scope 1 emissions and we are currently implementing a new transportation management system to ensure we are minimising our fleet emissions.
In the USA, we introduced feasibility studies targeting introducing renewable energy projects to our distribution centres. With Scope 3 emissions driven largely by our outsourced transportation partners, we connected with our three largest US suppliers to ensure that they are reducing their carbon emissions and improving their fuel efficiency. Each of these carriers maintains US Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay Transport Partnership status and received 2018 SmartWay Excellence Awards.
In 2018/19, branch closures in the Wolseley UK business contributed to a reduction in energy usage and reduced Scope 2 carbon emission. Additionally, 100% of the energy required to power the Wolseley UK head office was sourced from a mixed renewable blend, including biomass, wind and solar.
Wolseley Canada’s Scope 3 emissions increased slightly year-over-year due to vehicle fuel usage. Our Canadian business is exploring technology and fleet incentives to achieve future reductions in this area.
Figure 1: Carbon emissions
Metric tonnes of CO2 equivalent per million US dollars of revenue
Our approach to measuring carbon was developed in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. Emissions are calculated using the carbon factors from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs in the UK, the International Energy Agency in France and the Environmental Protection Agency in the USA and are reported as tonnes of CO2 equivalent (abbreviated as tCO2e) based on the Global Warming Potential of each of the “basket of six” greenhouse gases, as defined by the Kyoto Protocol. Due to rounding of the figures in the bar charts and tables there is not always a precise correlation with the sub-total and total performing figures.