Over 25 years of making our products more sustainable
At B&Q, we started our sustainability journey in the early 1990s – driven by a challenge that if we claimed to care about the environment, we should know where our products came from, how they were being made and what they were being made from.
Back in 1989, we opened B&Q Macclesfield staffed by a team who were all 55 or over. In 1991, we published our first timber policy – and we went on to become a founding member of FSC®, the Forest Stewardship Council.
- B&Q’s Sustainability Manager, Rachel Bradley, is recognised as 'Unsung Hero' for 2016 by the Guardian Sustainable Business Awards
- 37% of sales are now from products that meet Kingfisher’s Sustainable Home Product Guidelines
- Edie Environment and Energy Awards recognise B&Q’s innovative green pallet scheme with its Waste and Resource Efficiency Award
- Garden Retail & Garden Industry Awards recognise B&Q as Britain’s Greenest Garden Centre
- Environment & Energy Award: Sustainable Business of the Year
- Retail Week: Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative of the Year for B&Q’s Greener Gardens initiative
- Property Week award B&Q’s new store in Merthyr Tydfil with Sustainable Achievement Award
- Peat is removed from strip vegetable plants
- Scheme to reuse timber bearers, used for transporting large products into stores, introduced.
- B&Q works with Community Wood Recycling to get stores’ wood waste reused
- Paint remanufacturing trial commences in Cambridgeshire and North East London
- 'Loft Clear and Insulate' introduced nationwide – includes clearing out your loft as well as fitting insulation.
- Smart Home launched – enabling smart home energy management.
- Safety issue with roller blind cords addressed.
- 3 Sustainability Leaders Awards: Carbon Management, Stakeholder Engagement and Sustainable Packaging Innovation
- TFT Responsible Stone Group: through B&Q, two quarries and three major stone factories in India joined this group, improving the labour conditions of over 600 workers.
- easyGrow™ leads to expanded polystyrene and peat being removed from B&Q’s bedding plants.
- DEHP, a phthalate, is removed from B&Q’s garden hose pipes.
- Over 800,000 bees counted through the Great British Bee Count app, developed with Friends of the Earth
- Chimney sheep introduced – draught proofing unused chimneys with British sheep wool.
- Innovative Living Roof product developed for sheds.
- Filament LED light bulbs launched.
- Guardian Sustainability Awards – B&Q receives Carbon Award, recognising reductions in carbon emissions achieved
- Business in the Community (BITC) Big Tick Award: Customer Engagement on Sustainability
- Rollout of LED lighting across the B&Q store estate begins
- Pesticides containing imidacloprid discontinued, a neonicitinoid chemical associated with the decline of bees.
- Textiles take back event – encouraging customers to recycle curtains and cushions
- Flood protection products introduced.
- RHS “Perfect for Pollinators” introduced on plant labels to help customers find the best flowers for bees and butterflies.
- Retail Week award: Responsible Retailer of the Year
- Environment & Energy Award for Renewable Innovation, recognising B&Q’s eco retrofit of an 1890s end of terrace home
- Swindon Distribution Centre opens, making logistics more efficient.
- Dual fuel trucks introduced, running on biomethane from landfill sites
- Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Sustainable Development
- Clean Spirit introduced – a non-toxic, water based alternative to white spirit
- Recycling service added to B&Q’s installation service for kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms
- 100% compliance with Timber Policy is achieved
- Listed on the Sunday Times’ Green List for 2nd year
- Ellen MacArthur Foundation: B&Q is a founding member, shortly followed by Kingfisher, committing to building a circular economy
- Reusable packaging developed for home delivered worktops
- B&Q House opens, BREEAM excellent rating with biomass heating and natural ventilation system
- Improved route planning and speed limits for trucks improves fuel efficiency
- Recycled paint introduced
- Observer Ethical Awards: Winner of Ethical Business Award
- Listed on the Sunday Times’ Green List
- General skips removed from 196 stores
- 6,000 B&Q colleagues took part in a sustainability engagement programme
- Loft stilts introduced – simple method of combining insulation with storage
- 2MW turbine installed at Worksop Distribution Centre
- Absolute reduction in CO2 from store energy use of 11% compared to 2006 baseline due to improving light and heat controls
- Home energy retrofit for 100 homes in Sutton commences as a project with Sutton Borough Council
- Recycled plastic loft insulation launched with an average of 26 waste plastic bottles going to make each roll
- B&Q is one of first 12 companies to achieve Carbon Trust Standard, recognising reductions made in reducing carbon footprint
- Chain of custody is achieved by B&Q with FSC and PEFC for all B&Q stores
- Policy to stop selling non-native invasive plants introduced
- Patio heaters discontinued as are 100% peat compost bales and PVC shower curtains
- Double deck truck trailers introduced, enabling more stock to be carried per load
- One Planet Home® commences – sustainability programme developed with the sustainability charity Bioregional
- B&Q joins Sedex, the Supplier Ethical Data Exchange
- Policy introduced to sell peat free compost at the same price as peat based compost
- First energy and water efficiency campaigns launched
- All B&Q stores audited for standards including environment and start to implement improvement plans
- First nationally available, independently-approved organic gardening range launched
- Backhauling starts from B&Q stores: waste cardboard, plastic film, metal & pallets are taken to distribution centres for recycling
- Reducing solvents in paints: B&Q requires all paint to carry a VOC label (volatile organic compounds) so customers can opt for less polluting paints.
- B&Q is a founding member of FSC®, the Forest Stewardship Council.
- B&Q starts to work with brassware factories in India to improve working conditions.
- Publishes first B&Q timber policy.
- Alan Knight appointed as B&Q’s first environmental manager.
- B&Q Macclesfield opens, staffed entirely by over 55s