"Sustainability is not something to celebrate. It should be as natural as breathing – a given part of what and who we [business'] are."
Will Butler-Adams OBE, Brompton CEO
To lessen your impact on the planet, you first need to know what it is. We collect reams of data from every area of our business. And crunch a lot of numbers. This helps to create a clear picture of where we are and what we need to do to move forward. Although we're committed to reaching Net-Zero by 2050, we're working hard to get there sooner.
By joining the Business Ambition for 1.5c we also joined the UNFCCC Race to Zero, and We Mean Business Coalition.
We're using our data to create Science Based Carbon Reduction Targets. These give us a clearly defined path for reducing the overall carbon impact of every bike. We'll be sharing what these are and how we are doing over the next few months.
Our science-based targets are based on Total Impact (scope 1,2,3). Analysis shows that just over 80% of our emissions are beyond our operations, or 'scope 3' (as they are technically known). These cover things like sourcing raw materials or moving goods within supply chains. Managing or influencing these is incredibly complicated.
For change to happen, we need an industry-wide approach. As founding members of the Climate Commitment, we work with CEOs and experts from some of the largest companies in the cycling industry to try and find solutions that benefit everyone sooner.
Brazing torches in the London Factory. Workshop lights in the Singapore Junction store. Every bit of energy that goes into a Brompton bike counts.
Today, 96% of our global operational energy is sourced through Renewable Energy and Carbon Neutral Gas contracts. By 2025, it will be 100%.
Our focus is not just on what we use but also on how we use it. Recent efficiencies across our London and Sheffield factories have contributed to a 9% reduction in emissions per bike (2021 v 2022).
88% of the packaging we use is cardboard — it's FSC Certified and 100% recyclable. We're on a mission to minimise the amount we use by being super efficient in design and planning. Waste no space is our packing mantra.
Plastics make up around 15% of our packaging. The polybags we use are made from 30% post-consumer waste. Like most people, we hope not to use plastic packaging one day. Until then, it's about tackling the problem with small actions.
Most of our packaging footprint comes from the things sent to us. It's the same for many cycle companies, so it made sense for us to explore new ways of doing things together.
Over 70 businesses have now signed the Cycling Industry Packaging Pledge. We're working together with suppliers across the globe to bring our shared vision and commitment to circular and sustainable packaging solutions to life by 2025.
Zero waste to landfill
Did you know recycled tyres make a brilliant surface for children's playgrounds? Or that biogas can be made from food waste? The Zero Waste to Landill Policy at our London Factory and Head Office means that all of our waste is repurposed or recycled into something else. By partnering with experts, First Mile, we've reached a 70% recycling rate in the London Factory. We're working towards 90% by 2025.
Born again Brompton
First Mile helped us to identify recycling solutions for over 90% of the Brompton bike frame and components. This means nearly every part of our retired fleet bikes gets made into something new. We're now exploring how we can roll this out to our wider community so that every Brompton bike gets a second chance.
If you want things to be different, you must do things differently. Lucky for us, different is in our DNA.
We're planning to build a new low-carbon campus — on a flood plain (Holloway Architects and some brilliant engineers are working out that bit). There's nowhere to park your car, but you can follow the cycle path from the local town and onto the roof. The smart technology and systems being developed will allow us to build bikes more sustainably than we ever thought possible. And importantly, it's a space that feels good to be in—filled with natural light, thoughtfully laid out, and surrounded by greenery.
We look forward to sharing more details soon.