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Brands go green in the UK

Major brand owners including Kingfisher Group, Marks & Spencer and PepsiCo are deriving tangible benefits from enhancing their green credentials in the UK.

Kingfisher Group, parent of DIY chains B&Q, Castorama, Brico Dépôt, Screwfix and Koçtaş, believes this segment should prove a key future growth area.

"Currently, 10% of our turnover is green products, anything from insulation to sophisticated items like solar cells. I expect that to be 30% in ten years," Ian Cheshire, Kingfisher's chief executive, told the Daily Telegraph.

In a bid to stimulate this process, the company is pursuing several initiatives to assist customers interested in eco-friendly options.

"We are now planning to offer an eco-squad, for example, experts who will assess your home and suggest ways of making it more energy efficient and environmentally friendly," added Cheshire.

High-street retailer Marks & Spencer was a comparative early-adopter having created the Plan A scheme four years ago, setting out 100 commitments from utilising more recycled material to officially ranking its suppliers.

Alongside yielding £50m in annual savings through encouraging heightened efficiency, this effort has delivered a number of additional advantages.

"We are now a trusted environmental brand and we are asking ourselves what we can do with the consumer," said Mike Barry, the organisation's head of sustainable business.

"These are early days but there are some incredible opportunities for us in terms of new income streams.

"We are looking at energy, which is a £40bn market in the UK. M&S Energy is now selling energy services and even renewable energy. We are also looking at the fact that consumers are going to have to green their homes."

Source : Daily Telegraph

24 February 2011
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