Kingfisher has laid out new sustainability targets after making “significant progress” with its responsible business strategy this year.


Kingfisher has reduced its carbon emissions by 24.5%

The DIY giant has brought forward its target to achieve net-zero emissions by 10 years, with the aim to reach net-zero for its Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2040.

Kingfisher has reduced its carbon emissions across group operations by 24.5% against a 2016/2017 baseline. Scope 1 refers to a company’s emissions that it can reduce directly, while Scope 2 applies to indirect emissions such as electricity, heat or steam. 

At the same time, Kingfisher has raised the goal for its sustainable home products to account for 60% of sales by 2025/26, up from 50% previously. This includes 70% of sales coming from its own-label brands.

Nearly half – 44.1% – of its annual sales came from products that helped create more sustainable homes this year, including LED lighting, low-flow taps, and low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint. For its own-brand ranges, the figure is 54.7%.

“To be credible in terms of climate action, you need both short-term and also long-term emissions reduction targets”

Chris Guest, Kingfisher

Other short-term goals for FY25/26 include becoming forest-positive, achieving Kingfisher’s science-based targets of carbon reductions and having 100% responsibly sourced wood and paper.

B&Q store interior

B&Q’s products include LED lighting to aid sustainability

Kingfisher climate change lead Chris Guest told Retail Week that it is important for the retailer to have these short-term goals as a way to measure its progress.

He said: “To be credible in terms of climate action, you need both short-term and also long-term emissions reduction targets. What you’ve seen with many companies as standard is that many either have one or the other – so they have a short-term target but no certainty on where they’re going, or they have a long-term target with no commitment to take immediate action.

“By setting the net-zero target for 2040 for our Scope 1 and 2 emissions, we’re giving certainty for the longer term as to what our direction of travel is, while also committing to short-term emissions reductions.”

When asked why he was confident that Kingfisher would achieve its goals, Guest added: “Firstly, it’s a case of building on what we have already delivered and continuing to decarbonise at a similar pace.

“We also think external policy and technology will change as well over time, so we will be aided by the external landscape. For example, in the UK, the government is committed to ending the sale of new petrol and diesel heavy-goods vehicles from 2040 onwards – those types of commitments will help us as a large retailer to decarbonise as well.”

“We’re taking quite a phased and managed approach, so while we recognise that it’s impossible to predict accurately exactly what’s going to happen over the next 18 years, if we can break it into phases we can adapt to further changes in policy and technology. Then we should be in a good position.”

The long-term plan

Kingfisher has laid out step-by-step plans for the next 18 years, including switching all its delivery vehicles to low- and no-carbon and electrifying heating in its stores, with the ultimate goal being to maintain net-zero emissions from 2040 onwards.

Beyond these plans, it is infamously harder to reduce and achieve net-zero for Scope 3 emissions, which include all other indirect emissions that occur in a company’s value chain.

Kingfisher has currently reduced the intensity of its Scope 3 emissions from the supply chain and customer use of products by 19.7% since 2017/18.

Kingfisher head of planet and responsible business Kathryn Thomas told Retail Week that collaboration is key when it comes to reducing Scope 3.

“The ultimate goal really is to help tackle climate change as quickly as possible”

Kathryn Thomas, Kingfisher

“We want to make sure that we’re being as ambitious as we can,” she said.

“We’re part of a couple of retail working groups, such as the British Retail Consortium Climate Action Roadmap, where their commitment is to be net-zero by 2040, and also the Race to Zero Breakthrough campaign, of which we’re a founding member.

“We want to make sure that we’re supporting the industry as a whole, but I think saying 2050 would potentially be the easier route – the ultimate goal really is to help tackle climate change as quickly as possible.

“We really recognise that this is the area that we need to collaborate on as it’s where our most material impacts are. At the same time, if we don’t get our own house in order and if we don’t set the ambition, how can we ask our customers to reduce their emissions? How can we ask our suppliers to reduce their emissions?”

Alongside its sustainability pledges, Kingfisher has set targets for its business in terms of improving the gender balance of its colleagues, offering them skills sessions and working with charities to improve housing, especially in the midst of the cost-of-living crisis.

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