Build a Life Project
Build a Life Project is B&Q’s commitment to being a more responsible business. To achieve that we will act and report with transparency on the progress we are making against our targets, from becoming carbon neutral across all our operations by 2040, to reaching our annual £3m fundraising target for the charities we support to strengthen the communities we live in, and ensuring we create an inclusive workplace for all colleagues to thrive in. Our goal is to continue making changes to improve as a business and help build a better world for our customers, colleagues and communities.
We constantly gather emissions data from several areas of the business to calculate our total carbon savings. For example, we track our electricity and gas usage across our estate, fuel usage and types in our fleet and waste footprint among other things to calculate our direct footprint. We also track the materials used to make a product, the energy used to manufacture it and how efficient the product is to use during its lifespan to effectively calculate its overall footprint. This helps us identify areas where we can improve our operations so we can reduce the footprint over time. For more detail on how we are doing visit https://www.kingfisher.com/responsible-business-report.
To reflect the climate emergency we all face, we are working to achieve the Kingfisher, our parent company, target to be net zero across all of our operations (Scope 1 & 2 emissions) by 2040 – 10 years earlier than the Government’s UK-wide strategy – as well as reducing our product carbon footprint by 40% by 2025.
At B&Q we are not only committed to making sustainable choices easier for our customers, but we want to ensure we are as sustainable as can be. In 2021/22, we achieved a carbon reduction in our operations of 46.85% compared to our 2016 baseline. We were able to achieve this through a range of measures; increasing energy efficiency in stores, using lower carbon fuels in our fleet, and many other initiatives. We have also invested in our infrastructure to make our buildings more efficient and lower carbon.
We know that this isn’t enough. A big part of our emissions is generated through our supply chain and partners (known as Scope 3 emissions), and we continue to work closely with our stakeholders, partners, and suppliers to ensure we make changes to reach the net zero goal by 2050. As a group, Kingfisher has a target 40% reduction of Scope 3 emissions per £million turnover from purchased goods and services and use of sold products by 2025, against a FY17/18 base year.
With the convenience of home delivery becoming more important than ever, we made decarbonising our fleet a priority. Some of the technology used is very new and we work extensively with both our logistics partners and vehicle manufacturers to guide our solutions.
So far, by using one of the country’s largest fleets of LNG tractor units we’ve saved around 16,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions since 2020. In addition, we have trialled electric vehicles for our home delivery fleet and plan to extend the trial into 2024 to help shape our strategy.
We have invested in our infrastructure to make our buildings more efficient with more efficient options such as LED lighting, and over the past five years have increased our renewable energy usage to 99%. We’re always looking at ways in which we can cut energy use in our stores and distribution centres and have committed to a three-year energy reduction plan which includes installing solar panels at all distribution centres as well as wind turbines.
As part of our commitment to make more sustainable choices easier for our customers, we want to ensure both our products and their packaging are as sustainable as possible. We’ve already implemented a number of steps to reduce packaging, for example we have switched to pulp trays for all our British grown pot bedding plants to remove approximately one million plastic trays from our network.
We constantly review our product range and look at ways in which we can improve packaging. We’ve set ourselves a target to reduce our packaging by 25% by 2030, and have committed to our packaging being recyclable, reusable or compostable and made of responsibly sourced materials by the same year.
We are committed to reducing waste in all aspects of our operations and have successfully reduced our waste footprint by over 35% in the past 10 years and divert 99% of products from landfill. We have a strong strategy in place to reduce packaging which will help accelerate our waste reduction.
B&Q also operates a waste donation scheme through all its stores where schools, charitable organisations and community groups may request un-saleable products, from cuts of timber to slightly damaged tins of paint, for their own re-use.
In addition, to reducing waste, we are trialling a plant pot recycling scheme in a number of our stores and look to potentially roll out further nationwide. Once the pots are returned to store, we recycle them along with the other hard plastics waste that is generated by the store itself. The waste stream is integrated into our existing waste management activity.
We are always looking at ways in which we can reshape our properties to make them more sustainable, including EV charging points. We are looking to increase the number of EV charging points at our stores, however this depends on whether we own the store or not. We're working closely with our property team and landlords to better understand store profiles to increase the number of EV charging points.
At B&Q, we believe that everyone should have a home they love. Whether it's fundraising, volunteering, donating or building awareness of important issues, we believe in making a positive change through action. For example, along with our customers we have raised more than £3m for the B&Q Foundation, in turn helping more than 600 charities improve spaces for those who need them most. We also work with Shelter to provide a team of DIY Skills Advisers, helping people across the country gain fundamental DIY skills to build a positive future in their homes, our fundraising also supports the vital work of Shelter’s helpline.
We successfully reached our £3 million fundraising target for 2022 and are aiming to raise the same amount for 2023, with the money split between the B&Q Foundation and our partner, Shelter. The fundraising efforts are a combination of product sales, donations and events. B&Q also holds fundraising weekends throughout the year and each year certain products are selected to support the B&Q Foundation.