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BioRegional says B&Q is 'walking the talk' on sustainability commitments

DIY giant B&Q is walking the talk when it comes to meeting its ambitious sustainability commitments, according to the latest review of progress by BioRegional.

Among top UK retail brands it now has one of the longest and strongest track records for delivering on environmental and social as well as economic benefits.

Since its One Planet Home programme began more than five years ago, B&Q has made cumulative savings on carbon dioxide emissions of 310,000 tonnes compared to the 2006/2007 baseline. That is equivalent to CO2 emissions from heating and powering 68,000 homes for a year.

Highlights in the 2012 review of progress against 37 wide-ranging One Planet Home targets include:

- A reduction of 29% in CO2 emissions against the 2006/7 baseline, despite a 10% increase in total square footage of stores. In 2012 emissions were maintained at their 2011 level – no mean feat given exceptionally cold winter weather last year.
- 91% of B%Q waste materials are now diverted from landfill, with 72% being recycled.
- Overall, nearly 80% of targets have been met, exceeded or are on track to be met.

B&Q’s director of Corporate Social Responsibility Matt Sexton said: “Working with BioRegional enables us to get real feedback on the progress we are making in helping our customers create greener homes and how we are doing in terms of improving our own ethical and environmental standards.

"As an independent report, BioRegional gives the business an honest review of our sustainability record every year; it enables us to see ourselves as we’re viewed. This year’s report highlights that we’re well on the way to reducing our carbon emissions by 90 per cent by 2023, having already achieved a 29 per cent reduction to date."

"2012 was a big year for us as we received recognition from within the retail industry, being named Retail Week’s Responsible Retailer of the Year. This proves that making greener choices over more than twenty years can help transform a business.”

BioRegional undertakes an annual review of B&Q’s performance against its One Planet Home objectives. The latest review also points to important new technologies, projects and in-store innovations, including:

- Introducing 50 dual fuel, low carbon biomethane trucks and planning permission granted for a biomethane refuelling station at B&Q’s new Swindon distribution centre.
- The launch of B&Q Energy Saving - four trial ‘shops within a store’ which sell energy saving and generating products with an expert on hand to advise customers.
- Ultra-low energy LED lighting installed in six stores, with up to 50% power savings.
- Launching the ground breaking Good Woods projects with BioRegional and forestry charity the Sylva Foundation.

Recognition of this progress came in the form of a Queen’s Award for Sustainable Business and the Retail Week’s Sustainable Business of the Year title in 2012. In 2013, B&Q was honoured with The Carbon Award at The Guardian Sustainability Awards and B&Q’s waste manager Sharon Parsons was named National Recycling Champion at the letsrecycle.com awards.

“It is exciting to see some ideas that have been in the pipeline for quite some time come to fruition such as the introduction of dual fuel biomethane trucks. This process took three times longer than originally anticipated but B&Q’s logistics manager stood fast and overcame numerous hurdles to making it a reality. This is just one example of the tenacity and vision B&Q demonstrates across the organisation.” Sue Riddlestone, CEO and co-founder of BioRegional

But BioRegional’s review is independent and transparent, highlighting a few areas where progress falls short – for example on reducing packaging waste. And while some targets have been updated as part of the review process over the years, several new ones have been introduced since 2007.

Source : Bioregional
www.bioregional.com/news-views/news/b-q-walks-the-talk-on-sustainability/

08 June 2013
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