Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

Kingfisher puts customers at the heart of sustainable growth plan

Published: 23 May 2018 - Kiran Grewal

Kingfisher plc has set out its sustainability targets for the next seven years, the latest stage of its journey to become a net positive business by 2050. The Sustainable Growth Plan contains ambitious goals for Kingfisher’s operations, including a commitment to achieving 50% of group sales from products that help customers create a more sustainable home by 2020.

The plan aims to drive lasting change by translating sustainability into a language that connects with customers and the real concerns they have in their homes.

Over the last year Kingfisher carried out detailed customer research in five of its European markets to gain a deeper understanding of customers’ views on sustainability in relation to their homes. Through visiting customers’ homes and listening to their wants and needs to understand how they live today, Kingfisher found: saving energy at home has become top of mind; re-connecting to nature through indoor and outdoor space is a massive need; people are increasingly concerned about living in healthy and toxin-free homes, and a growing interest in smarter consumption.

The research also showed that people find making sustainable choices hard work and it often feels too complicated or time consuming, particularly when grappling with an already complex home improvement project.

Kingfisher has applied this insight to its sustainability strategy, establishing four big goals which challenge its own operations and make it easy for customers to live more sustainably. These goals are: saving money by saving water and energy; living smarter by getting more from less, re-using or using longer; creating a healthier home and connecting with nature; and being part of a community that helps millions more people improve their home.

 

Chief Customer Officer at Kingfisher plc, Pierre Woreczek said: “The purpose of ONE Kingfisher is to create good homes by making home improvement accessible for everyone, and central to this is helping our customers live more sustainably. We’re proud of our achievements so far: over a quarter of our sales now come from our sustainable home products; 96% of wood and paper in our products is responsibly sourced; and we’ve saved customers £840 million on their energy bills.

“It’s now time to set our next milestones and we know lasting change will only come when we can help guide the behaviours of our customers. Sustainability strategies have typically focused on the ‘big wide world’ and told people what they should care about. Ultimately this fails to connect with customers. This plan is rooted in real customer concerns and in our commercial goals. We know we can have a positive impact on the people who shop with us, on our business, the communities we operate in, and on the environment.”

The goals are underpinned by 12 impact-focused targets which include enabling a 50% reduction in customer energy use and a 50% improvement in customer water efficiency through products, services and advice by 2025. Kingfisher has also pledged to send zero waste to landfill by 2020 and ensure 90% of waste is recycled by 2025. The company will also continue to tackle poor and unfit housing through continued partnership and community programmes.

The targets have been developed with Bioregional, who are experts in the development of sustainable communities, and take the Kingfisher group further towards its long-term aspirations to embed sustainability across its businesses, and help customers to create good, sustainable homes.

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