Bioregional is helping Europe’s largest home improvement retailer to fulfil its sustainability ambitions. We are monitoring Kingfisher plc’s global progress as it seeks to increase sales from sustainable products and services across 1,150 stores in ten nations.

Expanding the range of greener products

In 2012 Kingfisher announced a new corporate responsibility plan aimed at making the group ‘Net Positive’ – putting in more for people and the planet than it took out. This ambition to be restorative is the group’s strategy for a future likely to be increasingly dominated by resource scarcity, social inequality and global climate change.

As part of its Net Positive plan, Kingfisher has set itself a wide range of stretching targets for 2020. Bioregional is helping the group to measure its progress on two key 2020 targets in the area of innovation:

  • To be at the forefront of sustainable product innovation, 10% of group sales should from ‘best in class’, the most innovative eco-products and services with reduced environmental impacts.
  • To bring eco-products into the mainstream, 50% of group sales should come from products and services with recognised eco credentials.

Kingfisher asked Bioregional to create a rigorous approach to the identification of eco products and class leading products across its group of nine international operating companies including B&Q in the UK and China and Castorama in France, Poland and Russia.

We first developed a set of guidelines for identifying eco products in 2010 with annual updates since then. In 2014 we wrote and managed an extensive update to include new legislation and products on the market.

As part of their annual corporate social responsibility reporting, each of the Kingfisher operating companies submits sales figures for products that meet the definition of an ‘eco-product’. Sales data is submitted on a quarterly basis to monitor how much progress the operating companies have made with introducing more sustainable products.

As well as monitoring this reporting and checking how the criteria are applied, Bioregional has supported Kingfisher in developing simple messages to communicate them to non-technical audiences including sales staff and customers.

Kingfisher plc’s 2013/14 Net Positive annual progress report showed that:

  • £50.2 million worth of group sales, 5%, came from best in class eco-products
  • £232.6 million worth of group sales, 21%, came from products meeting eco-products criteria.

Working with partners, we have also helped Kingfisher to develop a decision-making tool which shows the closed loop credentials of any product line; how good a job it does of minimising waste generation and favouring reuse and recycling.

About the partner

Kingfisher is Europe’s largest home improvement retailer with over 1,150 stores in ten countries in Europe and Asia. It employs 79,000 people, has annual sales of over £11 billion and nearly six million customers shop in its stores every week.