Mitchell & Dickinson Sustainability and Responsibility

We look after people and planet by looking after your home

Pic of Mitchell and Dickinson windows at Wells Almshouses.

Our impact

The carbon savings that result from our work are fifty times greater than our carbon footprint. In other words, we are more than carbon neutral – we are significantly carbon negative.

Over 100,000 tonnes of CO2e have been saved since Mitchell & Dickinson started insulating homes. That’s the equivalent of taking 50,000 petrol cars off the road for a year or the annual CO2 draw-down of almost 40 million trees.



From the start, Mitchell & Dickinson has aimed to be an eco-business, with the environment at the heart of what we do.

Carbon is one of the five Cs that make up the core of our business model:

Comfort | Cost | Conservation | Craftsmanship | Climate

We apply exceptional craftsmanship to the conservation of period and listed buildings to make them more comfortable to live in and more cost-efficient to run. The result is a significant reduction in carbon emissions as less energy is required to keep your home warm.


Our carbon footprint follows the GHG Protocol, includes Scope 1-3 emissions and is independently verified every 3 years. ‘Based on the report for the year ending 31 March 2022, verified by Go Climate Positive, our carbon data for the year ending 31 March 2023 is:

  • Carbon footprint: 465 tonnes

  • Carbon savings: 24,169 tonnes


Despite already being carbon negative Mitchell and Dickinson is committed to reducing our carbon footprint in proportion to our turnover. We have set the following carbon reduction targets until 2030, relative to the base date of 2022, based on SBTI guidelines for 1.5°C temperature rise:

  • Scope 1 & 2: 4.2% reduction in absolute carbon emissions each year referenced to baseline, as an annual linear reduction target, and based on location-based emissions for Scope 2.
  • Scope 3: 7% year-on-year reduction of intensity ratio tCO2e/£M revenue.

Sash Window Restoration Herefordshire

How we plan to achieve this?

The majority of Scope 1 emissions are from our vans and cars for installation teams and surveyors. We are switching cars to electric vehicles, with the vans to follow. Current fuel emissions are all offset using a carbon-negative business travel service.

Scope 2 emissions are a very small part of our total emissions and all office, storage and operational spaces use renewable energy sources.

Scope 3 emissions make up approximately three-quarters of our total footprint, and are dominated by the purchase of materials and travel and accommodation.

The environmental impact of these materials varies and is addressed in the Materials section below. Where it is high we are looking to reduce usage, test alternatives and work with our supply chain to lower impact.

As we grow we are setting up more regional hubs. Our teams will therefore have smaller distances to travel and require fewer hotel stays as we establish more hubs.


Materials include tools, timber, hardware, insulation (eg. plexiglass, PIR board, sheepswool) and filling and finishing products (eg. resins, putties, paints).

The top 5 materials (by CO2e embodied carbon) are:

  • Plexiglass: half the embodied carbon of glass; not intrinsically eco-friendly but unbreakable and long-lasting; recyclable at end of life

  • Ironmongery: high embodied carbon, but long lifespan and recyclable

  • Lead: high embodied carbon, but long lifespan and recyclable

  • Magnetic Tape: not recyclable or biodegradable but low embodied carbon; low toxicity; long lifespan; small relative quantities

  • Timber: Ultra-low embodied carbon; certified and traceable (PEFC and FSC) sustainably-grown, certified and traceable; high transport energy but durable & long lifespan; recyclable and biodegradable

We use fully-certified virgin timber for strength and durability; for consistency with the existing timber fabric of windows and doors and their conservation setting


We endeavour to work only with responsible suppliers who share our values. We request certification and accreditation information where appropriate and aim to build strong relationships with suppliers so that we can enable best practice together. Our business is conducted in a responsible, ethical and sustainable manner and we expect the same standards in the supply chain.

As an eco-company on an eco mission our approach to waste and recycling is central to our practice.  We operate a hierarchical policy on waste and recycling: Prevent, Reuse, Recycle, Disposal

In the first instance, we seek to prevent waste from being produced from our activities as far as possible.

We have our main parts and materials made to fit our bespoke projects thus avoiding large quantities of waste products being generated. We work with our suppliers to minimize waste materials. and our office processes are as paperless as possible.

Where waste is unavoidably generated from our work we reuse as much as possible. Waste generated on projects is returned to our regional units, on the ‘back journey’ by our delivery vans,  where it is collected and returned to our central stock for reuse, or is kept and then either donated to individuals and organisations for things like art projects and for use on allotments or sold for reuse by others.

Waste which cannot be reused by ourselves or others is recycled. We have designated recycling bins provided by our recycling contractor and waste is sorted accordingly and collected each week.

We dispose of waste only where it cannot be reused or recycled. Products which are environmentally harmful, such as paints or resins or materials such as lead are disposed of responsibly according to manufacturers’ instructions.


Mitchell and Dickinson are proud to employ over 75 people based in more than 15 locations throughout the South of England, around 15 of our people work from our head office in Bideford, North Devon.

Listed Buildings Herefordshire

Company Family

From the very start, Mitchell & Dickinson founded its business in the interests of People, Planet, and Profit in that order and continues to work for this ‘triple bottom line’. We refer to our employees as our Company Family.

We want our Company Family to be fulfilled, to enjoy their work, to feel proud to be part of the family and to feel respected, listened to, cared for, valued and included.

Training, career journey planning, mentoring, support and giving every member of the family a place and also plenty of opportunity to be heard are essential ingredients to help us keep our family happy and healthy.

Caring for our family begins even at the interview stage. We consider any support that is required and we consider personalities and how people might work together to ensure they can thrive. Our Managing Director meets every new member of staff personally, regardless of their role, as part of the recruitment process. He delivers an induction to all of our operational staff too, and participates in all appraisals and reviews in person. He knows every member of the Mitchell & Dickinson family as a result, their skills, their approach to life and their potential growth in their roles for the future. He sends out regular newsletters to update our teams on company progress, and how much CO2 we have saved.

Our training is all in-house. We have had to develop our training schemes because of the unique skills and craftsmanship required to insulate listed and period homes in a sympathetic manner to high standards of craftsmanship and thermal efficiency. Regular evaluation and progress reviews at least once yearly with our craftsmen give career direction and the opportunity for care and consideration as well as training planning and pay reviews.

Our regular appraisal meetings provide an opportunity for open and frank discussions, in which the employees evaluate themselves and the company, identify their needs and goals, hopes and dreams.

And when anyone leaves, exit interviews provide us with any learnings that might help us give everyone the support they need for the best possible working life.

Fair Pay for a Fair Day

We believe in fair pay for a fair day. That means that we review our payscales for different roles in the business and benchmark them against national and regional averages and observe national guidelines like Living Wage.

As we work all over the South of England it also means that we keep a close watch on working hours and travel distances and time spent travelling to ensure work/life balance. We pay our staff for time travelling to work if they work more than 40 minutes away from home and if they are travelling for more than one and half hours to get to a customer site, then we prefer that they stay away from home in comfortable accommodation, evening meal expenses paid up front.  That way our staff stay safe, are happier and more relaxed so that they can do a great job for our customers.

Pension – sustainable investment

We choose Smart for our employee pension scheme. Smart have a sustainable investment fund and a clear carbon reduction plan.  See here

And if any of our company family want to go even further with ethical investments Smart gives them the flexibility to choose their investments.


Our equal opportunities policy which is reviewed each year ensures that everyone regardless of age, sex, gender identification, race or creed is treated equally in every way, in the spirit of mutual respect and trust. Everyone is included.

Over 50% of the Senior Management team are women.

We actively encourage our staff to tell us what they think, whether they have an idea, or want to make a complaint. We have a clearly defined complaints procedure, but more importantly, the lines of communication from the leadership of the company are so open that any issues can be raised directly with the MD or any other director or manager. Honest and open but considerate communication is the way we do things in our company family. If any issues arise and a complaint is received, it is investigated immediately and solutions put in place, such as mediation, team building, training or changes to working patterns or locations. We have an imaginative approach to handling all members of our company family. Whilst policy is there to support us, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to human happiness.

Supporting each other through thick and thin

Looking after each other and providing the kind of support that is needed is how a good company family operates. Sometimes life can get stressful, or things happen at home that require time and attention from our team. Mitchell & Dickinson takes the extra care required to keep the company family safe and well and able to do what is needed to live a well-balanced life with a happy home family too.  Our recruitment process includes a discussion about personal circumstances, family at home including both animals and humans, mental health and physical health to identify any support needs from the get-go.

Any signs of stress or mental health difficulty or any special circumstances at home are picked up by the senior management team, firstly to show concern and assess whether any workplace changes need to be made, and a customised plan to meet the needs of the individual are put in place. Counselling programmes, our Cash Health Plan, Employee Assist Programme, extended leave, yoga or gym memberships, or just a change of working arrangements, including maternity and paternity and compassionate leave are examples of the tools in our kit which we call on to maintain harmony and happiness.

Carbon literacy and impact awareness

We regularly update all staff on the impact of our work including carbon savings and footprint alongside finances and growth. As specialists in insulating Britain’s older housing stock, energy and carbon saving is at the heart of our business, indeed it is our sole mission, and why we exist, and we are always looking for ways to communicate and embed this further.

Mitchell & Dickinson secondary glazing case study Cornwall, clients by front door

Customers and community

Customer care

Our customers are the owners, custodians and guardians of some of the most beautiful heritage homes in the land. They fall under the category of ‘People’ in our triple bottom line of People, Planet, and Profit.

Our Customer Team are on hand to help every step of the way from initial enquiry through to project completion. Timely communication by email and telephone keeps customers informed. Our surveyors and technical surveyors visit our customer’s properties in person and give best-practice advice on how to improve thermal efficiency of listed and period properties.

We like to work with our customers based on mutual respect and trust and we try to accommodate our customers’ needs at every step of the customer journey.

Having tradespeople in your home can be a stressful time. Our teams are briefed to make our stay in a customer’s home as pleasant as possible. Many customers even enjoy it.

We look after the health and welfare of our customers while we are in their homes, as well as their possessions and family including their pets.

We leave a goody bag with each customer before we leave with cleaning and lifting equipment, maintenance advice and a thank you for their custom.

Influencing behaviour

Our ethos embraces climate, conservation and craftsmanship. Energy efficiency is a win-win for all and we strongly believe that it can be achieved by repairing, restoring and enhancing the fabric of our old buildings.

So we’re always happy to discuss and champion these concepts with our stakeholders, whether individually, locally or nationally.

Paul Dickinson, our Chair, is listed in Time Magazine top 100 climate change influencers for his work with both the Carbon Disclosure Project (now and Mitchell & Dickinson. Mukti Mitchell has won the Energy Efficiency Association’s Energy Efficiency Champion award and is the author of a government white paper on EPC reform, of award-winning online carbon calculators, Smart Living, and many books and articles on low carbon lifestyles.

We give regular talks on insulation and how to insulate a listed property, notably at the Listed Property Show at Olympia each year, and at other smaller community energy-saving events and as CPD lunchtime seminars for estate owners such as Savills. We have publicised our award-winning work at Clovelly Estate with a tour of the village where the guests were able to meet the tenants living in the 17th century cottages to understand the impact of the insulation measures we had installed. This was then the subject of a documentary film made by film maker Beccy Strong, distributed to estate owners and operators nationwide.

Other training initiatives include the formation of a separate Mitchell & Dickinson company called The Period and Listed Retrofit Academy which has run several training courses aimed at home and estate owners which have been turned into videos such as Carbon Neutrality for Period and Listed Properties and Insulating Listed Properties.

We publish several educational articles each year. Listed Heritage magazine, Devon Life and Western Morning News, Sunday Times and the Telegraph all have published key articles from Mitchell & Dickinson advising homeowners on how they can reduce their heat-loss and become more energy efficient by retrofitting insulation. Our news sheet Retrofit News is circulated each year to owners of estates and sets out the options for landlords who want to make their estates thermally efficient.

We also promote and support relevant community events and initiatives, including:

Funding non-profits – an online educational platform using carbon and happiness calculators on all aspects of low-carbon living and how consumers and homeowners can minimise their carbon footprint.

Energy efficiency events support, attendance and sponsorship – Green Open Homes Bath and NE Somerset, Great Big Green Week, Energy Wise Totnes, Tavistock Energy Fest, Energy 361, Barnstaple and the Energy Efficiency Theatre at the London and Bristol Listed Property Shows.

Schools and careers – we participate in the Bideford College and Great Torrington School careers events to help school leavers understand the careers available to them in insulation and carpentry locally and further afield. We sponsor Woolsery School’s annual festive production.

Art and other community events – We sponsor the environmental author book talk at the Appledore Book Festival, the Artmakers New Atlantic Wave art shows in Bideford, Northam May Fair and carnival, The Woolsery Show where we are judges for the most sustainable business award and we are annual sponsors of Instow Cricket Club. We have historically also sponsored eco-art prizes at The Burton Art Gallery to support the promotion of the climate change message through professional art.

We are, in addition, members of influencing bodies with whom we are actively engaged such as the Energy Efficiency Association, the Country Landowners Association and Constructionline.