Kingfisher group chief executive Ian Cheshire has called for large companies to do more to restore faith in business’ contribution to society.

Cheshire made the call to action as the B&Q owner launched its Net Positive strategy to make a positive impact on energy, innovation, timber and communities through its supply chain and retailing operations. 

A Kingfisher poll conducted by YouGov revealed 24% of those surveyed think large companies have a positive impact on their local community and environment and 26% believe they have a negative impact. 

The poll showed that 43% of people are more inclined to use the services of a company seen to be contributing to the community.

Cheshire said: “Big companies can be a force for good, creating sustainable jobs and a sustainable future for the communities within which they operate but it’s a long journey and we can all do more. That’s what Kingfisher Net Positive is about – doing more than minimising negative impact, it’s about having a net positive impact.”

He added: “There are great examples of how large companies are recognising their responsibilities but much more can be done by big business to restore the public’s faith in our corporate sector. We’re laying out our stall today to start a real Net Positive conversation across the business community.”

Kingfisher will work with community groups, councils and charities and land owners to map and assess 10,000 hectares of woodland, train and educate 1,400 people in good woodland management skills. 

Through working with B&Q’s buying teams, the project will identify both the opportunities and the challenges involved in bringing sustainable UK woodland products to the retail market.

Earlier this year, Kingfisher appointed Nick Folland to head up its corporate responsibility strategy.