Going green has helped Frog Bikes grow their business and prepare for a financially secure future. They were able to cut shipping and production costs, secure a £40,000 green loan, and attract and retain new staff. 

Read their story, and find resources and tools to implement similar changes in your own business.

About Frog Bikes

Frog Bikes designs and manufactures lightweight children’s bikes. Their actions on sustainability includes minimising packaging, creating an approved trade-in service, and even using rice husks instead of plastic in their pedals.

Industry: Manufacturing

Location: Berkshire

Picture of Shelley Lawson, Director

Shelley Lawson, Director

"There’s no question that banks will be pushing us harder than government to decarbonise. It will get to a point where businesses can’t borrow, or get insurance, if they are big emitters."

Using less material for lower costs and a better product

The USP of our brand is that our bikes are light, so if we can reduce the amount of material used in our bikes this makes them lighter for our riders, as well as reducing embedded emissions.

Our R&D team found they could cut the number of spokes without compromising the strength of the wheel, saving 100g of stainless steel per bike. Similarly, using different shaped aluminium tubes in our frames has saved 200g per bike. When you do this on every bike, the emissions reductions really add up. Design changes like this mean we emit 6kg less CO2e per bike than 2 years ago.

To reduce this further, we are exploring the switch to recycled materials, where the emissions reductions will be substantially greater.

But on top of this, shipping costs have risen by up to 900% in the last few years, and supply chains are sluggish, so we are trying to source locally where we can. Local producers use cleaner energy than those in the Far East, which will reduce our emissions further.

Most business carbon emissions are created through supply chains outside your ownership or direct control. Reducing these emissions can lower costs and help progress towards net zero.

Frog loan

A financially secure future

There’s no question that banks will be pushing us harder than government to decarbonise. A lot of them have committed to having a net zero loan book by 2040. It will get to a point where businesses can’t borrow, or get insurance, if they are big emitters.

Our bank has been promoting us in their networks because of our commitment to sustainability, and has even given us a £40k green loan to buy electric vehicles. Meanwhile, the Welsh government has connected us with financial support for our R&D process.

A man standing in front of cardboard boxes

Lowering emissions creates real business benefits – from reduced overheads to a more powerful brand. And there’s help to finance these changes from a range of sources.

More motivated staff

We had a young team member who joined in December, she must have been 22 or 23, who stopped me in her induction week and said the reason she wanted to join Frog was our stance on the environment. We often read that young people want more sense of purpose in their careers, but I’ve seen that with my own eyes.

We always say to our team: when it comes to climate, the decisions you make at work will have a far bigger impact than what you do at home. For example, our aluminium buyer can save 1,000s of tonnes of emissions a year from the choices she makes.

Tell the story of what you’re doing in a way that helps recruit and retain staff.

More resources to help your business go green

Whatever business you’re in, our free resources show how you can use action on sustainability:

Or use this handy tool from Zero Carbon Business to get a bespoke net zero plan tailored to your SME's sector and location.

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