Willerby shares sustainability journey at net zero campaign celebration

26 May 2023

UK holiday homes market leader Willerby has taken part in a major event focused on how businesses can play their full part in the drive to net zero.

Willerby’s Chief Financial Officer Sue Allan and Project Manager Duncan Collins joined apanel of business leaders and told of the company’s progress on its sustainability journey.

They were joined on stage by former BBC Science Editor David Shukman, former Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Amber Rudd and Hull City Council leader Mike Ross at an event celebrating the first year of the Oh Yes! Net Zero initiative.

The collaborative campaign has so far been backed by more than 150 organisations from across the Hull and Humber region, together employing more than 46,000 people. The campaign supporters are all committed to reducing their carbon footprint and supporting the
transition to a net zero economy.

Leading businesses supporting the Oh Yes! Net Zero campaign include Willerby, global consumer health and hygiene company Reckitt, FTSE 250-listed food producer Cranswick and Ideal Heating.

As a major employer in Hull and market leader in the UK holiday homes industry, Willerby has invested significantly as it pursues environmental excellence across all its operations.

Sue said: “Every business, large or small, must play their part in meeting the challenges of climate change, but for many it can be difficult to know where to begin when it comes to reducing your carbon footprint.

“At Willerby, we started the process by understanding the impact of all of our operations and examined our supply chain and where we source materials and products from.

“We’ve made strong progress so far on converting our sites in Hull to run on renewable, clean energy, and we have also encouraged our staff to consider their own actions and how they can play their part.

“If every person starts by making simple, small changes to the way they travel to work, the products they consume and their behaviours, then it adds up to make a significant difference.”

Willerby is leading the holiday home sector in its drive to decarbonise its operations.

The company invested £1.25m in 2020 to install two new biomass boilers to heat its manufacturing facilities in Hull, saving 1,000 tonnes of CO2 annually and avoiding hundreds of truck trips to remove this waste.

Last year Willerby also introduced its new Willerby GreEN Standard specification across its range, to reduce the energy consumption and carbon emissions of its models by over a quarter.

Willerby has also encouraged staff to consider more sustainable forms of transport to and from its sites in Hull. The manufacturer has installed electric vehicle charging points on its two sites in the city and offers an incentivised scheme to upgrade company vehicles to electric and hybrid cars and vans.

In addition, Willerby has operated a cycle to work scheme for several years, providing a way for hundreds of staff members to own a bicycle to use to travel to and from work.

Oh Yes! Net Zero was established in 2022 and celebrated its first year of progress at an event held at Hull Truck Theatre.

Guests heard a keynote speech from Amber Rudd, who discussed the UK’s progress towards net zero since the 2015 Paris Agreement, before a panel session hosted by former BBC Science Editor David Shukman discussed some of the obstacles and pitfalls facing businesses aiming to reduce their carbon emissions.

As well as prioritising sustainability across its own operations, Willerby has worked with partners to create a sustainable end-to-end supply chain, using local suppliers and recycled materials wherever possible.