Sustainability Policy and Report

Astleys recognises the need to act to help the environment and have set our target date for achieving Net Zero carbon emissions by 2035.

We are committed to do what we can to reduce carbon emissions, become more sustainable and minimise any negative impact on the planet.

We aim to be able to substantively demonstrate year-on-year improvements in this respect.


5Rs Logo

One fundamental is the adoption of the 5R’s philosophy:

Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle

with Recycle as the final option, not the first.

You will see the demonstration of these guideline in the examples below.


Strategic Key Areas

Our strategy to reduce our carbon emissions and improve our environmental impact is broken down into the following key areas:

  • Improving the energy efficiency of our workplace
  • Encouraging Staff to take greener transport to work
  • Encouraging home-working staff to be more eco-focused
  • Minimising use of paper and stationery
  • Using refurbished or second-hand goods
  • Improving recycling
  • Adopting Digital Technologies
  • Ensuring our packaging is sustainable
  • Welcome external audits to get feedback and recommendations on our efforts
  • Partnering with Green Businesses
  • Promoting Environmentally Friendly products and solutions
  • Carbon Offsetting
  • Future targets

Improving the energy efficiency of our workplace

Our strategy to reduce our carbon emissions and improve our environmental impact is broken down into the following key areas:

Astleysare committed to achieving significant reductions in energy consumption. At the time of this report (November 2023), Gas and Electricity consumption are forecast to have further reduced from results in 2022. Diesel is currently forecast be around the same as last year.

This area is well optimised through fuel-efficient vehicles and effective route planning, however the totals are affected by the business and needs of customers. An increase in usage does not reflect a decline in fuel efficiency, rather am increase in business.

We are looking at other ways to reflect our commitment to fuel economy and reducing carbon emissions.


Gas (KwH)

Electricity (KwH)

Diesel (Ltr)


















Est to be 20% reduction 11/23)

Est to be 20% reduction 11/23)

Est to be 20% reduction 11/23)

Scope 1 and Scope 2 measurements and Carbon Footprint reports

We try to quantify our results as much as possible and be fully transparent. The emissions totals and proportions are fundamental to us measuring our success in achieving our carbon reduction goals.

Carbon Footprint Trust Scope 1 and Scope 2 results


Total Emissions (KgCO2)


Scope 1

Scope 2








29% reduction





8 % reduction





10 % reduction




Est 10% less

Est 10% less (11/23)



Certificates are available on request.

We are proud of our results and believe it clearly demonstrates our success and commitment to reducing our environmental impact.
Figures for 2022 show a significant further reduction of nearly 10% on 2021.
Additionally, we expect to further reduce our Scope 2 emissions for 2023 as we are contracted for electricity supply with British Gas and their “Green Business” supply which uses renewable resources and is certified by the Carbon Trust as having a zero emissions factor for Scope 2 reporting.

Some of the initiatives we have used to produce this saving are listed below

Initiatives to reduce consumption, and therefore emissions

  • Electricity consumption reduced by:
    • Consolidation of offices. All staff have been moved onto one floor, removing the need to light or cool the ground floor offices.
    • High energy load IBM server has been replaced.
    • Air conditioning in the server room is now less critical due to more efficient, solid-state hard drive services and network equipment. These produce less heat and are also more resilient to operating in higher temperatures. Air-conditioning used to be on permanently, it is now only used in extreme hot weather.
    • Company-wide PC’s have been upgraded to solid state hard drives and more energy-efficient processing units.
    • We invested in high level, energy-saving LED lights for the warehouse, showrooms and offices. These are complimented by motion sensors to automatically switch lights off in unoccupied rooms.
    • Nov 2023. We have additionally invested in changing all external lighting to LED’s.
    • We no longer open the Trade Shop on Saturdays, so do not need to heat/cool/light the premises on these days.
    • We closely monitor our electricity consumption to address any major fluctuations.
    • Sourcing electricity from ‘green’ suppliers.
  • Gas consumption reduced by:
    • Consolidation of offices. All staff have been moved to one floor, negating the need to heat the ground floor offices.
    • Heating timer has been adjusted to reflect the business hours of the Company more accurately.
    • We are no longer trading on Saturdays so do not heat the offices on these days.
    • Radiator thermostatic valves are maintained to enable efficient temperature control
    • Warehouse heating has been reduced and shutter doors kept closed to improve insulation.
    • Close monitoring of usage to spot any major fluctuations
  • Diesel consumption reduced by:
    • Reduced mileage due to efficient route planning
    • Use of fewer vans
    • Use of third-party carriers
    • Use of add blue which helps reduce CO2 emissions
    • Reduction of multiple deliveries due to more complete-in-one deliveries and less to-follows. Over 98% of our customer orders are delivered on time and in full.
    • Reduction of Sales Force journeys though increased use of online meetings.

Potential future initiatives

  • Review of remaining lighting outside. We are aiming to replace all halogen and filament lighting with LED low-energy equivalents. This is being conducted in the most commercially expedient manner. November 2023 update: This has now been completed.
  • We have a modern, well insulated facility in Coventry. However, correct use of the building ventilation and monitoring or external doors, particularly in cold weather is important to retain the benefits of good insulation.
  • Any new electrical equipment will have a minimum of A+ efficiency rating.
  • Optimising smart meter readings to allow a better ‘current’ understanding of electricity and gas consumption and enable us to react quicker. Consumption usage is reviewed monthly.
  • We always consider sourcing energy from a ‘Greener’ supplier for our energy needs and favour these providers where possible. This is demonstrated by our choice of British Gas ‘Green Business’ supply for our electricity.
  • We engage with staff to promote energy-saving and sustainability improvements. We encourage lift-sharing, reduction in paper use and powering-off electronic items after work. We also publish our monthly fuel consumption figures and involve all staff in contributing to reduction initiatives.
  • We are reviewing potential of install PV Solar Panels and battery systems to reduce reliance on the grid and fossil fuels. A study is currently being conducted to assess the viability of this facility.
  • We have engaged with Coventry Green for Business Program to help assess and develop ways to further reduce our environmental impact.
  • We will be having a review of our EPC rating to our energy efficiency rating to determine where improvements can be made. 

Encouraging staff to take greener transport to work

We have recently reduced the number of shifts and streamlined the starting and finishing times for staff. This can potentially help with lift-sharing.

We also, actively try to recruit staff who live close to the premises to minimise travel.

We have considered a ‘bike to work’ scheme, but currently do not feel comfortable encouraging this as we feel the local network to be potentially dangerous to cyclists. If an employee chooses to cycle to work, we will help with maintenance of bicycle and safety equipment.

Encouraging home working staff to be more eco-minded

In August 2020 we migrated our ERP IT system to a Cloud-based, browser operated facility. This means that desk-based staff are now able to work from home (or remotely) far easier than before.
In line with changing work practices and a desire to enable more work flexibility, the Company supports working from home, where appropriate. This practice has also strengthened our operational resilience during periods of enforced self-isolation for team members.
Working from home often has several environmental benefits.

  • It reduces congestion in concentrated areas like city centres,
  • It minimises pollution from commuting.

Minimising use of paper and stationery

It is estimated that 30 per cent of paper consumption is determined by IT systems default options. Through changes as little as switching the print default to double-sided option, paper consumption could be reduced by 15 per cent, compared to a single-sided print option which consumes more paper and more energy.
Therefore, we are adopting double-sided printing where possible and removing default printing to discourage unnecessary printing. Additionally, we are amending the signature information on our emails to encourage recipients not to print. Furthermore, we have reduced the print size for when they do. We estimate that emails are now the largest user of print paper, so any change in this habit will be beneficial and we will continue to monitor usage.

The NetSuite system we implemented in August 2022 is designed to be paperless and this is something we are heading towards.

We have invested in multiple-monitor workstations for our office staff to ease document interrogation without the need to print hard copies for comparison.

We send 99% of invoices and statements electronically and can store received invoices similarly.
It requires a significant cultural change to move away from a reliance on paper and default-printing. However, good progress has been made and we expect to continue moving away from paper.
Current figures show a reduction of 11% on paper this year comparable to last.

Current initiatives to reduce paper usage further include use of electronic handheld devices for warehousing tasks such as, picking, stock counts and Proof of Deliveries, with information stored electronically. We have invested in equipment and software to enable this.

Figures for the 2023 financial year show little reduction on paper use compared to 2022. This indicates that the current processes are optimised in respect of wastage and any further reductions will require a process change. We have therefore elected to invest in more hand-held devices to reduce the reliance on paper in our order picking function. This will be trialled in Q1 of 2024 and we expect to see a positive outcome from this.

Using refurbished, second-hand goods and extending replacement cycles

We carefully consider the options of buying refurbished equipment as an alternative to new when applicable. Using refurbished equipment should, when purchased from a reputable supplier, not be inferior to a new equivalent. It has the benefit of cheaper prices as well as reducing landfill. Examples of where we have done this are: forklift trucks and printers.

Additionally, we review replacement cycles for vehicles and have extended where possible. This has to be judged carefully. The carbon footprint of manufacturing vehicles can often be more than any efficiency loss of running an older vehicle for longer. We maintain all vehicles to manufacturers recommended standards and use add-blue in our diesel vehicles to further reduce emissions.

Improving recycling

We work closely with our local waste removal and recycling centre (Tom White Waste, part of Coventry City Council). They are accredited to ISO9001 and ISO14001 and also have attained Bronze standard in FORS (Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme). All waste is carefully sorted to optimise recycling potential.

To make recycling easier for staff we put bins in places that are convenient to recycle. (e.g. having paper and card recycling near the printer). We also encourage a clear desk policy as this leads to more efficient use of paper as staff cannot leave it lying around.  

Adopting digital technologies

Online Meetings
We have fully embraced the concepts of remote meetings and conduct this whenever possible to save on needless travel. All staff have access to MS Teams and other online meeting software and we also have a dedicated facility in the conference room to encourage this.

Route Planning
This is used on all business journeys to plan the most efficient route. By combining this technology with our push to consolidate orders and selective use of third-party carriers, we have been able to optimise our deliveries and show a significant reduction in distances travelled and therefore CO2 emitted. 



168g CO2/Km

% change





















(Years are our financial years and run from September to September)

PDA’s for Proof of Delivery

We now use the above to store proof of deliveries digitally. This has the benefit of reduced paper use, speed of receipt for the customer when requested and improved social-distancing capacity when required.

We have also invested in hand-held electronic devices for use in the warehouse. We expect this to have a direct impact on paper reduction.

We are further reviewing our IT policy.
When PC’s need to be replaced, we will consider repurposing the existing ones to become ‘dumb-terminals’ or, if this is not possible, to buy dumb-terminals and use online resource for performance and storage. This saves use of valuable rare-earth metals, minerals and resources in buying new PC’s, reducing landfill and should make the company more robust in terms of security vulnerabilities. It will also extend the replacement cycles further reducing contribution to landfill.

Making sure our packaging is sustainable

John Astley & Sons Limited took the decision not to use virgin cardboard packaging many years ago. Instead, we repurpose boxes that we receive from our suppliers. Where possible, we sell and deliver in the original outer boxes; when this is not possible, we recycle previously opened boxes. We believe this is the most environmentally efficient method.

We must use pallet wrap in some cases but, to mitigate the effect of this, we use a 30% recycled film as sparingly and safely as possible. We are continually exploring other alternatives and will follow industry best practice.

External audit

This is something we are keen to do and have joined the ‘green business’ program run by Coventry City Council so help introduce new ideas and learn best practice from other organisations, particularly SME’s.

Additionally, we will be having our building EPC rating assessed to determine where improvements can be made.

Partnering with green businesses

Ethical and responsible purchasing is very important to us so that we know where our products come from and that they are made in ethically sound ways, both for the environment and also with respect to those who make the products.

We always source certified products (we are CHSA accredited), ensuring products that meet the relevant EN standards and CE mark are labelled correctly. We will prioritise the use of products where there is additional voluntary certification such as Oeko-tex (for textiles) which requires that garments are made with no harmful components or substances used in their manufacturing.

Astleys actively promote Ecolabel products as standard including paper (recycled as opposed to virgin material, and choosing suppliers who operate sustainable forests), and super concentrated cleaning chemicals (reducing amount of single use plastics). We advocate the use of micro fibre in cloths and mops which work very effectively with just water, reducing the need for chemicals.

It is very important to us that our suppliers have a positive position on sustainability, and we aim to work with only those that demonstrate their commitment to extra care for people and the planet.

We are aware of the responsibility that comes with sourcing products that originate in countries with different legal standards and labour conditions. Where this is the case we require evidence that suppliers have adequate auditing of facilities to ensure working conditions and practices comply with ethical trading practices, specifically covering prohibition of child and forced labour, workers’ rights and conditions of safety and working environment in addition to environmental impact management.

Our suppliers’ partnerships have always been key to our business. Many of our suppliers have been trading with us for decades, and several for over 50 years!

Historically, the priorities were quality of product, continuity of supply and competitive pricing. Recent years have seen an increasing additional importance placed on environmental credential.

All our key suppliers, have ISO 14001 accreditation and comprehensive environmental policies and standards. We would be delighted to share these with you, on request.

We have decades of experience sourcing, procuring and delivering Industrial consumable and cleaning supplies to local and national trades and organisations. We work closely with our supply partners to keep updated with new innovations and understand how they can benefit our customers, especially in respect to lessening environmental impact. We have recently dedicated a part of our Website to promoting the environmental initiatives undertaken my some of our suppliers and the innovate products they have developed to help us all meet our environmental goals.
Please see:

Sometimes the best solution can be the simplest and oldest idiom; ‘buy less, buy better’. Cost in use benefits not only save money, but also lower CO2 emissions from needless replenishment and reduce landfill burden. Additionally, another strategy we have seen success in has been the use of concentrates. This significantly reduces use of plastic, lowers order frequency and hence lowers carriage and therefore carbon emissions. 

We have also been successful in reducing chemical usage by the promotion of micro-fibre technology. We have all the experience and products to help our customers achieve reductions in their environmental impact.

Reducing negative environmental impact is rightly at the forefront of most our customers and we have many examples of where we have been able to introduce innovations to help them achieve their goals. We would be delighted to discuss this in more detail with any interested party.

From March 2023 the electricity we purchase from British Gas is certified as zero carbon. We have accompanying certificated from the Carbon Trust. 

This can be used in any Scope 2 calculations.

Carbon offsetting

Since we moved to our current site in December 2005, we have maintained, grown and planted a large area of bordering. This contains over 100 established trees and significant amount of hedging and grown cover, carefully selected to provide an optimal habitat for a diverse eco-system. Additionally, we plant flowers to encourage insect life and are particularly proud of the 2 flourishing beehives we manage on our property.

Both the business and the individuals who make up our team, recognise the importance and benefit of having and protecting the local and global environment and we would welcome any customers to visit and see what we are doing. In addition to the mental, emotional and physical benefit of working around plants and trees, we also understand that they play an important role in helping offset some of our CO2 emissions.

According to Selectra Climate : “it is generally considered that a tree can store about 167 kg of CO2 per year, or 1 ton of CO2 per year for 6 mature trees

We are believe it would be irresponsible of us to exaggerate the offset of our trees and acknowledge the difficulty in accurately calculating these figures as carbon absorption varies dependant of many factors (tree type, age, size etc). We also believe that our focus should be on reduction of emissions, not offsetting. For this reason, we have not included the established bushes and hedges or less mature trees in our calculation. 

A simple offset would therefore be: 100 x 167kg = 16,700 Kg or 16.7 tons.

We will seek to plant more trees on site when possible and continue to work on local environmental projects. For example, conservation work at Ryton Woods, where the Astley family have had a long history of contributing to their efforts. 

Future Targets

We hope to be able to be able to meet the target below. We try to find a balance with our targets to achieve what it realistic but also challenging. After all, our objective is to demonstrate year on year improvements in our sustainability and environmental impact.

Targets for year 2023



Mid-Year review/ comment


Reduce usage by 10%

We hope to surpass this goal


Reduce usage by 10%

We hope to surpass this goal


No more than 5% increase

Increase in business means that the final figure for 2023 is like to be similar to 2022. However, we believe that we are expending less CO2 per mile than previously.


Reduce usage by 12%

A change in processes should achieve this in 2024

Scope 1 & 2 CO2 emissions

Reduce by 12%

On target



Targets for year 2024



Mid-Year review/ comment


Reduce usage by 5%



Reduce usage by 5%



No more than 5% increase



Reduce usage by 15%


Scope 1 & 2 CO2 emissions

Reduce by 5%





Last Date reviewed: November 2023               By: D. Astley, Director.

Updated:                     30th November 2023

Next review date:      June 2024