Tag Archives: Retail & products

B&Q

We’ve worked closely with B&Q, a leading UK retailer and the first One Planet Company, over the last ten years to help it use One Planet Living to drive its sustainability efforts

Greening a DIY giant

In 2007 we helped B&Q develop and launch its One Planet Action Plan,  an ambitious strategy which marked the beginning of its sustainability programme – One Planet Home. This partnership has become one of Bioregional’s longest-running and most important collaborations. 

Each year we review B&Q’s progress against its sustainability targets set out in this plan, and tell the story of its progress. 

Sustainability is now embedded into many of B&Q’s core functions ensuring that its energy use and transport, for example, continue to become more efficient. Ongoing engagement with buyers ensures that supply chain risks are minimised and innovative new products and services are continually sought.

B&Q’s One Planet achievements

Cumulatively these efforts have had a huge impact in reducing B&Q’s impacts and improving its bottom line since 2006/7 including:

  • A saving of 762,546 tonnes CO2e through a 41% reduction in its absolute carbon footprint
  • Reducing costs by £164m through better energy, transport and waste management
  • 40% of sales from products with sustainability credentials

Developing a better understanding of its footprint has allowed B&Q to focus on specific initiatives to reduce its environmental impacts, while saving money. Like many other retailers B&Q has achieved high levels of diversion from landfill (now 99%) but it is also striving to ensure that wherever possible waste is prevented or recycled.

With over three million customers a week there is a huge opportunity for B&Q to make the nation’s homes greener. 40% of its sales are now from products with sustainability credentials.

You can download our latest 2015/16  sustainability review using the link on the right.

The Nature of Gardens

We have also worked with B&Q on a number of specific initiatives and projects to support its move towards a One Planet future. In 2017, B&Q commissioned us to research and write an in-depth report on the value of UK gardens to nature.

After reviewing over 100 reports, the Nature of Gardens report  concluded that:

  • Gardens are vital for Britain’s declining wildlife
  • Wildlife and nature are good for people’s mental and
    physical health, and our gardens are one of the most
    important places where this happens.

Our findings were combined with the results from extensive B&Q commissioned consumer research into people’s attitudes towards wildlife in their gardens, plus a list of top ten tips for less experienced gardeners on how to support wildlife. Check these out

Launched in Spring 2017, The Nature of Gardens was endorsed by leading wildlife and gardening organisations including the Royal Horticultural Society and the RSPB.

Alongside, B&Q announced that to help protect our bees, it will stop using neonicotinoid pesticides from 2018 for all the flowering plants it sells.

About our partner

B&Q is the leading home improvement and garden retailer in the UK and the third largest in the world. It has more than 300 stores in the UK and Ireland and sales in 2014/15 of £3.8 billion.

Kingfisher

Bioregional has been working with Europe’s largest home improvement retailer since 2010. We support Kingfisher’s goal to increase sales from sustainable products and services and to transition to the circular economy. We also provide target setting and reporting support

Expanding Kingfisher’s range of sustainable products

Kingfisher asked Bioregional to create a rigorous approach to identifying what constitutes a sustainable product for the home. We created a first set of guidelines in 2010 with clear criteria, updated annually, including saving energy and water, sustainable materials and the circular economy, greener gardens and healthier homes.

Every company within the Kingfisher Group now provides a six-monthly report on the products identified as meeting the criteria, which we verify.

We have trained teams in Kingfisher, including people in commercial and quality assurance roles, to help them improve and expand their Sustainable Home Product ranges. We have also created roadmaps with short to long term actions setting out how commercial teams can improve product ranges by reducing the impacts of products along supply chain and in use within customers’ homes.

The Sustainable Home Product range now includes over 33,000 different product lines, representing 28% of the group’s annual sales in 2016/17.

Creating circular value chains

Kingfisher and Bioregional have collaborated on the circular economy for several years, helping Kingfisher meet its target to create 10 ‘closed loop’ supply chains by 2020. In 2015/16 Bioregional produced a circular design guide and a circular value chains assessment methodology for Kingfisher covering:

  • safe and sustainable materials
  • product utility and function
  • energy and carbon
  • water stewardship
  • ethical responsibility

This methodology enables product designers to understand how they can increase the circularity of existing products and helps to inform design decisions during product development.

Bioregional has used the tool to review five products to date including easyGrow and Pro Grow, plant growing media which have passed the assessment and generated sales of over £9 million in 2016/17. Kingfisher subsidiary B&Q’s green pallets initiative, which reuses and recycles pallets for delivering products to stores, also meets the requirements.

Setting sustainability targets

In 2018 Kingfisher launched its Sustainable Growth Plan, a new roadmap up to 2025, setting out the next stage on its journey towards being a net positive business. Bioregional’s role as part of Kingfisher’s sustainability strategy refresh was to develop and agree a smaller set of ambitious targets with a greater focus on the things customers and colleagues really care about.  We were responsible for advising on how Kingfisher can support the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and ensure it continued to improve the sustainability performance of its own operations. Bioregional provided technical support and modelling to help Kingfisher create realistic yet stretching 2025 targets including:

  • Enable a 50% reduction in customer energy use
  • A 50% improvement in customer water efficiency
  • 20% of total sales create healthier homes and help them connect with nature
  • Ensure sustainable management and efficient use of key resources (2025) including 100% responsibly sourced wood and paper and peat-free bagged growing media (2020)

Bioregional continue to provide technical support to Kingfisher on setting greenhouse gas reduction targets in line with its commitment to the Science Based Targets initiative.

Sustainability reporting support

Working with a team of Kingfisher experts including internal and external auditors, we collate and analyse annual data submissions from Kingfisher’s ten operating companies and its offices. We cover around 150 data points on issues ranging from property energy, transport, waste and water to community investment and employee diversity.

We ensure Kingfisher’s Sustainability Report contains correct, robust data, contributing to an insightful overview of the company’s progress against targets and milestones. Information on the financial, economic, social and environmental value generated by Kingfisher is also included in the group’s separate annual report.

About the partner

Kingfisher is Europe’s largest home improvement retailer with over 1,200 stores in ten countries across Europe, Russia and Turkey. It employs 77,000 people, has annual sales of over £11 billion.