Jan 24 2008
Sustainability solutions experts BioRegional announced this week that they will partner with B&Q for the next three years to help the company become a world leading One Planet Living(r) business. The partnership will enable B&Q to reduce its impact on the world's resources and make it easy for B&Q customers to have sustainable homes and gardens by listing 2,000 eco-products in store.
One Planet Living Environmental accounting tool - Ecological Footprinting - shows us that if everyone in the world lived like we do in the UK we would need three planets to support us.
Through their initiatives such as south London's BedZED eco-village BioRegional has already shown that we can reduce our impact to the "one planet level" while maintaining a high standard of living.
B&Q is the first retailer to join BioRegional's One Planet Living Programme. Through this Programme BioRegional are already working with other partners in the UK and internationally on new eco-cities, villages and in existing towns. These initiatives will show the world what a truly sustainable future can look like and how to achieve it.
One Planet Living is a global initiative based on ten principles of sustainability developed by BioRegional and WWF. The ten principles are: zero carbon; zero waste; sustainable transport; local and sustainable materials; local and sustainable food; sustainable water; natural habitats and wildlife; culture and heritage; equity and fair trade; and health and happiness.
BioRegional set targets against each of the ten principles using Ecological and Carbon Footprinting to allow for truly sustainable and equitable use of resources for everyone around the world. B&Q will be the first retailer to attempt to meet these demanding targets.
The B&Q partnership BioRegional will work with B&Q to develop two sustainability action plans. The first plan will look at improving B&Q's own operations against the ten principles of One Planet Living. The second plan will help B&Q's customers achieve One Planet Living in their homes and gardens through products which are consistent with the ten One Planet Living principles. BioRegional will work with B&Q to extend its current range of eco-products and develop new lines to result in a substantial One Planet Living product range.
B&Q announced this week, that as a first step towards One Planet Living it will: Phase out Patio Heaters. The smallest 4.5kW table top patio heater emits as much CO2 in two hours as the average individual electricity consumption for a whole day. B&Q - the largest seller of patio heaters in the UK - said today that once its seasonal stock of patio heaters runs out in 2008 it will not restock them. It is the largest home improvement retailer to make this radical commitment.
Use only FSC certified wood to make B&Q kitchens A founder member of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), B&Q also revealed that its entire kitchen range is now 100% certified by the FSC. This means that all wood used to make B&Q's kitchens comes from well-managed sources. As the UK's largest seller of kitchens, this is great news for the environment and for consumers.
Give free growing kits and seeds to 5,000 schools Food forms 21% of our Ecological Footprint in the UK and is a key area to tackle as part of One Planet Living. One in five children has never picked and eaten their own fruit and one in five 8 - 13 year olds has never visited the countryside. In a bid to bring the countryside closer to them B&Q has teamed up with Year of Food & Farming and will send free growing kits and seeds to 5,000 schools throughout the UK.
Sue Riddlestone, Executive Director of BioRegional said "Achieving one planet living is the challenge of our times. Most people know that we have to take action but don't like the idea of having to cut back or go without.
"What we have found through our real-life sustainable communities and products is that it's more about being efficient and developing new ways of doing things. People are happier living a 'one planet' life. A sustainable future is nothing to be afraid of, but something we can all look forward to. We are delighted that B&Q has stepped up to the mark and said, 'we will do it and we will help our customers to do it too'."
Ian Cheshire, CEO of B&Q said: "We have announced a number of groundbreaking moves today relating to our business processes and products. Each of these decisions was taken with our customers firmly in mind, in order to provide them with home improvement solutions for the 21st century whilst minimising our business impact on the environment.
He continued: A quarter of the UK's total carbon emissions come from the home and as the largest home improvement retailer in the country we are uniquely placed to help customers make a real difference. We are all too aware of the impact our lives have on the environment and our initiatives will provide real and simple solutions to help people live more sustainable lives.
We are very proud to have signed up to BioRegional's One Planet Living initiative and look forward to working with them over the coming years to become a One Planet Living business".