Creating the Leader
We have a strong heritage in sustainability but are making a real step-change to our approach. We have made a Group commitment to do more than minimize our negative impact, but instead re-focusing our efforts to have positive impact on the world. We call this being Net Positive.
Net Positive is a new approach to doing business. It's core to our 'Creating the Leader' business strategy and is one of the eight pillars on which this strategy is built.
What is Net Positive?
Net Positive is a new approach to doing business. To succeed, business must do more than minimize its negative impact – it must be designed to have a positive impact on the world.
At Kingfisher, we help millions of people each week to improve their homes. As a leading international retailer we have the scale and capability to create not just better homes and better lives, but also a better planet.
In practice, Net Positive means not just preventing deforestation, but working towards net reforestation. It means helping create homes that go beyond zero carbon to become generators of their own energy. It means innovating new business models, products and services that are net positive by design. It means working in communities to equip people with the fundamental, practical skills of making and mending. In each of these four priority areas, and across the business, we will transform the way we operate to become Net Positive by 2050.
It is a big ambition. For many years we have worked to become more sustainable and with Net Positive we are setting our sights even higher. We have established clear milestones and will report regularly. We know that it's a constant journey and aim to make progress every day through the actions of colleagues and customers.
Net Positive will be good for our business. It will enable us to secure the resources that we use, unlock new opportunities and to drive growth. We believe this big goal will inspire people in our business – and has the power to be the catalyst for collaboration in the wider world of our partners and the industry at large.
Today, the system is broken: the use of resources worldwide is outstripping supply. Leadership for the future means having the resolve to envisage new approaches and take people with you. For us, that means going Net Positive.
Our four Net Positive priorities
To concentrate our efforts, we've identified four areas where we can have the biggest impact: timber, energy, innovation and communities. We believe these will set us firmly on the path to achieving our Net Positive ambition.
Whilst these four Pillars provide a useful focus, we're not ignoring our other responsibilities – we're also committing to manage and improve our impacts against 50 Foundation targets.
Our 50 'Foundations' targets
In addition to the four pillars, we have committed to manage and improve our impacts across our business. That is why we will continue to deliver 50 additional targets, which we call the Foundations PDF 0.64Mb.
Each of the 50 Foundations has a 2020 target and most have a 2015 milestone to achieve.
The Foundations help us to identify gaps and problem areas in our progress to becoming Net Positive. We can also determine where collaboration is needed – with other companies, NGOs, the third sector, policy makers and government – to sustain progress.
There are Foundation targets within each of the four pillars – timber, energy, innovation and communities – as well as in the following three areas.
Employees – we have nearly 80,000 employees across the Kingfisher Group. Our targets within this area cover important issues from employee engagement to health and safety.
Suppliers and partners – We maintain a high standard of ethics and environmental conduct, based on international legal standards, as central to the way our businesses operate. This section also includes our work in government affairs and partnerships.
Environment – our environmental performance is a core part of how we perform overall as a business. This section covers area of our business where we impact on the environment including waste, transport, packaging, water, chemicals and sustainable construction.
Our Net Positive structure
A new Net Positive governance structure that reports directly to the Board has also been put in place. Nick Folland is now Group Corporate Affairs Director: Net Positive and reports directly to Ian Cheshire, the Group Chief Executive.
For Net Positive to be a success though we will need every one of our operating companies and every colleague to be with us. Net Positive is integrated into our core business strategy to enable this to happen so it becomes part of everyone's everyday and business as usual. Like any other of our key business objectives, Net Positive will be integrated into management incentives in relevant parts of the business. For example, this year, we are integrating criteria around Net Positive behaviours into the personal bonus schemes for senior executives.
We're now engaged in helping each operating company understand what Net Positive means for them and create their own Net Positive four-year plan as part of the wider business planning process. This is where our Net Positive plan will really start to live and breathe and we'll break down the milestones that will get us to our bold ambition.
Where are we today?
We begin our Net Positive journey from a great place, with strong foundations to build on. With more than 20 years heritage within the sustainability arena we have made great strides from B&Q being a founder of the Forestry Stewardship Council in the early 1990s, to WWF France rating Castorama and Brico Dépôt as two of the three best French retailers for their timber programmes. Whilst Net Positive sets our sights even higher – here you can read about our performance during 2011 within the Group Priorities and Operating companies sections on this site.