Chief Financial Officer shares Willerby’s green journey at sustainability summit

The Chief Financial Officer of holiday homes market leader Willerby has urged businesses to adopt a practical approach to sustainability.

Willerby’s Chief Financial Officer Sue Allen told The Waterline Summit it’s important for businesses to be practical in the drive to net zero.

Sue Allan said while many people are keen to invest in a sustainable lifestyle, they often need an added incentive, such as reduced energy bills, to make the change.

She explained Willerby’s commitment to environmental responsibility at a launch event for The Waterline Summit. Held at the Aura Innovation Centre in Hessle, East Yorkshire, The Waterline Summit is the Humber region’s biggest sustainability conference.

Sue told audience members at the event that sustainability is “built into Willerby’s strategy” as it leads the holiday homes sector to a greener future.

Hull-based Willerby recently became the first UK holiday homes manufacturer to publish a sustainability report, detailing its mission to combat climate change and cut carbon.

Willerby is also driving behavioural change within its business. Since increasing the incentives for staff to switch their company vehicles to hybrid or electric, all users have moved away from petrol or diesel cars.

Last year Willerby marked Earth Day by issuing refillable water bottles to every member of its 1,200-strong workforce. The move eliminated single use plastic consumption at water stations across Willerby’s sites in Hull and saves around 200,000 plastic cups being used annually.

Willerby has also made a series of significant sustainability investments at its facilities in Hull, from biomass boilers to heat its main factory, to fitting rooftop solar panels to its head office to generate clean electricity.

The manufacturer also recently launched Willerby All-E – the first all-electric specification, which enables Willerby holiday homes solely powered by electricity to be sited at most UK holiday parks. The intelligent technology in Willerby All-E monitors and optimises  electricity usage to avoid the supply being exceeded.

Sue said: “In both our colleagues and our customers, we’re seeing a big change in mindset around sustainability. People want to commit to a more sustainable lifestyle, but they still need a bit of extra incentive to make the switch.

“With our Willerby All-E specification, that incentive might be reduced energy costs, or simply the feel-good factor of owning a green holiday home.

“We’ve installed a network of electric vehicle charging points on site and increased the incentives for staff switching to hybrid or electric company cars. Those actions were met incredibly positively, which shows the appetite is there, but needs that bit of support.”

Sue was among a panel of experts at The Waterline Summit, including representatives of Hull-based Ideal Heating, medical tech manufacturer Smith+Nephew, the University of Hull and eco-friendly household product specialist The Bio-D Company.

Hosted by Deb Oxley OBE, Founding Director of Oxley Works, the panel discussed the progress made by businesses, large and small, to decarbonise their operations, as well as the challenges presented by the net zero transition.

The event also emphasised the important role of initiatives such as the Oh Yes! Net Zero campaign – a collaboration of businesses, including Willerby, with a shared commitment to the drive to net zero.

Sue said Willerby was continually working with holiday parks, as well as its own supply chain and partners, to help them on their own net zero journey.

She said: “We do a lot of work with our supply chain, which is largely local to us in Hull, around the materials we use in our holiday homes.

“To tackle your carbon footprint effectively, you need to look at all aspects of your business – from scope one emissions produced directly by your own operations, to scope three emissions produced in your supply chain.”

Willerby recycled or recaptured 96 per cent of its total waste on site in 2022, a year in which it launched the Willerby GreEN Standard – the industry’s first sustainability specification – across all its holiday homes.

The Willerby GreEN Standard delivers a 28% reduction in energy usage with 250kg less carbon emitted annually for each holiday home, making it better for the planet and the pocket, and paved the way for the introduction of Willerby All-E.

Willerby was recently recognised as the UK’s most sustainable manufacturer at a highly prestigious awards ceremony.

The company won the Sustainable Manufacturing Award in The Manufacturer MX Awards 2023 – widely recognised as the “Oscars” of manufacturing.

Delivered by Future Humber and the University of Hull, The Waterline Summit is aimed at helping to unlock opportunities for clean growth and for the region to lead the UK’s green industrial revolution.

For more information on the Willerby’s commitment to sustainability, visit