Kingfisher collaborates to innovate for Net Positive progress
A collaborative approach to responsible sourcing, packaging and the circular economy has taken DIY giant Kingfisher to new heights in the second year of its Net Positive sustainability plan.
The B&Q and Screwfix operator has today (10 June) released its annual Net Positive Report, updating stakeholders on its sustainability ambition to transform the business to have a restorative impact on the environment. (Scroll down for full report).
Kingfisher’s group sustainability director Richard Gillies said the strategy – which incorporates 50 specific targets under for ‘priority areas’ – is already generating business value from efficiency, productivity gains and new revenue streams.
“We’re driven to integrate sustainability into everything we do,” said Gillies. “To reach our restorative goals, we will need to continue to do so at pace but with our new leadership team having reaffirmed their commitment to sustainability, together with our new strategic direction, I am confident we will be able to do just that.
“We are taking a systematic approach, tackling issues in our operations and by working with external partners and suppliers.”
Highlights from the 2015 Net Positive Report include reaching 92% responsibly sourced timber and paper products last year, 2% ahead of Kingfisher’s 2016 target and well on-track to hit the 100% target by 2020.
The group reported that its customers are now saving an estimated £600m a year through energy-efficient products and services purchased from Kingfisher brands since 2011/12. Total sales of products with a lower environmental impact were worth £2.4bn to the business this year.
In its own operations, Kingfisher has reduced its energy intensity by 17% since 2011/12 and marginally increased its recycling rate to 70% – on track for its target of 75% by next year. However, the firm is not on track with its target to understand the water footprint of its own operations, and water use has fallen by just 2% in the past five years.
Underpinning all of Kingsfisher’s sustainability progress is collaboration, with a number of initiatives involving rival businesses, NGOs and suppliers.
One example of this is in sustainable timber sourcing. Last year, Kingfisher fronted a new collaborative project known as VIA (Verification Impact Analysis) with FSC, IKEA, Tetra Pak and ISEAL. The project seeks to establish a credible methodology for measuring the impact of FSC certification.
Closing the loop
The report also outlines Kingfisher’s increased focus on the circular economy. The company has worked with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and Bioregional to develop a ‘closed loop calculator’, which assesses which products have closed loop credentials. Kingfisher has identified 562 ‘closed loop’ products so far, with a target of identifying 1,000 by 2020.
B&Q – Kingfisher’s leading DIY brand – was the big winner at edie’s 2014 Sustainability Leaders Awards, taking home three awards on the night: Carbon Management; Stakeholder Engagement; and Sustainable Packaging. Judges praised B&Q for having “sustainability wrapped around the core of its strategy” and for its overall willingness to transform the green credentials of the entire home improvement industry.
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