Our Employees

Read more about what we are doing at WCF to reduce our impact on the environment

WCF recognises that it has an important role to play in ensuring that the UK meets its climate targets by 2030.

Understanding our carbon footprint

We are working in partnership with the carbon management consultancy My Carbon to capture, calculate and understand our carbon footprint. This will include our Scope 3 emissions which measure the impact of our operations on our wider supply chain. These results will be available in the second half of 2023. From there we will produce our carbon neutral roadmap. Whilst our priority is to remove our carbon emissions wherever possible, in Fuels this is likely to include some level of carbon offsetting. We will monitor and report on our carbon emissions across all sectors of our business to ensure that our plans are yielding the results that we need.

How can WCF be sustainable when you distribute fossil fuels?

As a distributor of fossil fuels WCF are aware of the adverse environmental impact of these activities. However currently society is dependent on these products and few alternative technologies exist for our customers. This is not an excuse to do nothing and so whilst we will continue to supply customers with what they need to heat their homes and run their businesses we will be working hard to deliver to them with the lowest carbon footprint possible.

We recognise that over time our revenues from the distribution of fossil fuels will fall and are taking pro-active steps to mitigate the impact of this by investing in other areas of our business such as Leisure and e-commerce fulfilment. Ultimately, we expect that a liquid biofuel will completely replace oil and our logistics operation will update as a result.

WCF are committed to working with government, industry and our customers to test and implement alternative carbon-free technologies. We have taken part in a UK wide test to prove that Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (HVO) can be used to efficiently and easily replace kerosene as a domestic heating oil. Through our industry body UKIFDA (UK & Ireland Fuel Distributors Association) we are helping to campaign to government to equalise the duty on this product so that it becomes an affordable alternative for consumers. All our businesses are now capable of delivering red and white HVO and we will continue to support our customers as they transition. We will be evaluating the option of storing HVO for our own fleet in 2024.

Efficient Deliveries

We ensure that our logistics planning is as efficient as possible by routing deliveries together, offering our customers incentives to select green routes, buying groups or order as far in advance as possible and focussing on minimising tanker mileage. In general, we choose the delivery day, not our customers, so that we can be as efficient as possible. Average miles per drop is one of our key measures. Our trucks are always sent out fully loaded.

Whilst there are currently no electric oil tankers on the market, our diesel fleet is less than 7 years old, is Euro VI compliant and uses AdBlue to further reduce emissions. The vehicles are regularly serviced and maintained to ensure they run as efficiently as possible.

Unless a specialist carrier is required, we use the Royal Mail for our Home Shopping deliveries. Royal Mail has the lowest reported carbon emissions of any parcel carrier due to the number of postmen delivering on foot. Home delivery is generally considered to be more carbon neutral than customers making individual journeys to multiple locations particularly as most carrier companies are switching to electric vehicles for final mile deliveries.

Sustainable Packaging

We recognise that some packaging is a necessary evil to protect the quality of the goods inside. However, as an e-commerce, store and Home Shopping retailer dealing directly with consumers we have taken huge steps to reduce the amount of packaging and single use plastics across our supply chain. In Home Shopping garment bags are used only where they are needed to protect the product. Those that are in use are recyclable and we have switched to paper despatch bags. These same bags can also be used by our customers to return any unwanted garments. We have eliminated all surplus packaging such as swing tags and collar holders.

Our catalogues are now sent out naked or with paper wraps and we are working hard across our database to ensure that our online customers only receive the catalogues they need. We are constantly working with our catalogue suppliers to reduce the amount and thickness of paper used and supplement our postal mailing activity with digital marketing.

Challenges remain in our Pet & Equestrian business where there is currently no sustainable packaging for dry dog and cat feed that would not cause it to lose its moisture, but we are confident that our manufacturers are innovating hard to resolve this. We are also working with our major branded suppliers on receiving pallet goods without shrink wrap.

Building a sustainable supply chain

Wherever possible we use UK based suppliers, however in certain sectors such as pet accessories and textiles, this is not always possible. All our own brand pet feed is manufactured in the UK. For overseas suppliers we order in bulk to reduce the number of journeys and prefer sea freight over air. Air freight causes 45-50 times the emissions of sea freight.

We aim to ensure that wherever possible the fabric used in our garments is from sustainable or recyclable sources. Our own brand dog feed is made from by-products of the food industry, eliminating waste.

Eliminating Waste

In Home Shopping our unique selling point is timeless quality rather than fashion and our range of garments are designed to last. We offer repair and alteration services and stand by the quality of garments by offering a free lifetime product guarantee. Any samples and un-sold items are offered free of charge to staff before being sent for charitable donation.

In our stores pet feed that is going out of date will be donated to animal rescue centres and local charities. Our in-store nutritional advisors help customers select the right food for their animals and offer clear guidance on how much to feed so that product does not go out of date. We offer products across different pack sizes so that they do not have to buy too much.

Our sites have drastically cut our paper utilisation by switching to digital dashboard reporting, operating shared filing systems and updating our processes and workflows so that customers receive electronic welcome letters, delivery notes, invoices and statements.

All our sites re-cycle everything they can and our employee owners have been on board for many years in terms of energy use reduction.

Our sites

Our 3 campsites participate in the David Bellamy Pledge for Nature Scheme to promote, protect and enhance biodiversity through nature and encourage pollinator insects, birds and other wildlife.

At all our businesses we have measures in place to reduce our energy consumption including the installation of solar panels, LED lighting, on/off sensors and electric vehicle charging stations. We have authorised a project to replace the roof at our head office with solar panels in 2023.

We encourage our employee owners to use tele-conferencing facilities where possible to reduce the need for unnecessary travel.