Kingfisher products improved customer energy efficiency by one-third last year

Home improvement retailer Kingfisher helped customers save an estimated 43TWh of energy - more than the annual consumption of Hong Kong - through energy efficient products such as LEDs and insulation.

Kingfisher products improved customer energy efficiency by one-third last year

In total

Kingfisher’s latest sustainability report revealed that the company’s products and services enabled a 32% improvement in home energy efficiency – equating to savings of 43TWh last year.

The company has set targets to have low-carbon and environmentally friendly products account for large portions of overall product portfolios. Water saving basin taps, for example, now make up 57% of sales in that area, more than double the previous year’s figure.

Five new circular value chains have been launched, including a Métisse made from recycled textiles and clothes collected by a French social enterprise, to help customers use less and reuse more. Kingfisher’s target is 20 value chains by 2025.

In total, 9% of group sales are from products that help people have a healthy home or connect with nature, up from 5% in 2016.

Kingfisher’s chief executive Véronique Laury said: “Our aim is to make sustainability easy for our customers and embed it throughout our business. We are doing that by integrating sustainability into the design of all of our new GoodHome ranges and, as our report shows, we are starting to see the results of this work.”

As for the company’s own operations, Kingfisher now has solar PVB panels fitted at 20 locations, while biomass boilers are supplying two distribution centres. Air source heat pump systems are located at 63 sites.

As a result, 43% of the electricity used by Kingfisher in 2018 came from zero-carbon renewable electricity, up from 31% the year before.

Kingfisher has also turned to battery storage to improve use of onsite renewables. Kingfisher claims the 756kw installation, constructed at the firm’s Swindon distribution centre to complement its 552 rooftop solar panels, will reduce the site’s grid power consumption by almost a third (31%).

Around 35% of the power generated by the solar panels at the site was exported back to the grid as surplus, but the energy storage facility, completed in September 2018, enabled B&Q to store up to 40% of the energy generated by the PV panels and release it back to the building during periods of peak pricing or overnight.

Overall, Kingfisher has cut greenhouse gas emissions by 15% since 2016, as the company pushes ahead with its Sustainable Growth Plan. The plan features headline goals of achieving 50% of the group’s sales by 2020 from products that “actively make customers’ homes more sustainable” and to become a Net Positive business by 2050.

Science-based targets

In February, the home improvement retailer had goals to reduce scope 1 and 2 emissions by 22% and emissions from purchased goods, services and the use of sold products by 40% approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

Kingfisher has committed to reduce scope 1 and 2 emissions by 22% by 2025 from a 2016 baseline and emissions from purchased goods and services and the use of sold products by 40% per £1m turnover by 2025 from a 2017 baseline.

The SBTi has approved the targets, which align to the Paris Agreement’s ambition to limit global temperature increase to no more than 2C.

Commenting on the science-based targets, Dr Sally Uren OBE, chief executive, Forum for the Future, added: “The adoption of science-based targets for greenhouse gas emissions reduction is very welcome. I’m also pleased to see progress on the delivery of products and services that help Kingfisher customers get more from less and an increase in sales of products that help customers create a healthier home and connect with nature.”

Matt Mace

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