· Partnership will support reforestation and restoration projects and engage with forest communities in Kingfisher’s key tropical sourcing regions
· Will help Kingfisher deliver its commitment to become forest positive - creating more forests than it uses - by 2025
Kingfisher plc, the international home improvement company, which owns B&Q and Screwfix in the UK, today announces a partnership with the Rainforest Alliance through the Forest Allies initiative.
As a founding member of Forest Allies, Kingfisher will support the Rainforest Alliance to protect, restore, and enable responsible management of tropical forests. Programmes will engage with local forest communities to build strong local economies, whilst also protecting the natural resources they depend upon.
Working with the Rainforest Alliance and alongside other corporate partners, Kingfisher will support the implementation of Integrated Community Forest Management in key tropical sourcing regions. This will help to deliver on outcomes such as maintaining and restoring forests and improving biodiversity and livelihoods for forest communities.
Under its group-wide Powered by Kingfisher strategy launched in June, Kingfisher has identified four Responsible Business priorities where it believes it can use its experience, scale and influence to achieve the most positive impact. These are Colleagues, Planet, Customers and Communities(1). The partnership with the Rainforest Alliance will be instrumental in meeting Kingfisher’s targets relating to ‘Planet’, which include the commitment to create more forests than it uses and become Forest Positive by 2025.
Wood and paper are the largest natural resources used across Kingfisher and are present in around a quarter of all products sold by the business, from kitchen cabinets and sheds to paint brush handles and sandpaper. For almost 30 years, Kingfisher has been committed to sourcing wood and paper responsibly, starting with the first responsible timber policy published at B&Q in 1991 and becoming a founding partner (as was the Rainforest Alliance) of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) in 1993. Kingfisher has a group-wide target to source 100% of its wood and paper responsibly, with B&Q already at 98%.
Although a lot of good work has been done across a variety of sectors, deforestation and forest degradation continues at alarming rates. This contributes significantly to biodiversity loss, and impedes the fight against climate change. Halting the loss and degradation of forest ecosystems and promoting restoration has the potential to deliver over a third of the total climate change mitigation needed by 2030.
From 2021, Kingfisher will begin to deliver projects as part of Forest Allies, and will monitor and assess outcomes, including the impact on: maintaining and restoring forests and biodiversity, implementing sustainable forest management, supporting forest communities in adapting to climate change, empowering forest communities at scale and improving livelihoods for foresters and their families.
Thierry Garnier, Chief Executive Officer of Kingfisher plc, commented:
“We are fully committed to being a responsible business and to having a positive impact on the lives of our customers, colleagues, communities and the planet.
“We are one of the largest buyers of wood products in Europe, so we have a significant footprint. Therefore, the partnership we’re announcing today with the Rainforest Alliance presents an opportunity to work with strategic partners to respond to the challenges of deforestation and builds on our heritage of leading the industry in the responsible sourcing of wood.
“I believe this new partnership will help us to make more of a positive difference, not only for the future of wood and paper sourcing, but also the communities and wildlife that rely on forests to live, for generations to come. It also means when customers shop in one of our stores, they can have certainty that not only is the wood they buy responsibly sourced, but they’re buying it from someone committed to protecting and helping to restore the planet’s forests.”
Daniel Katz, Founder and Board Chair, the Rainforest Alliance, said:
“Forests have been a key focus for the Rainforest Alliance since the organization was founded in 1986. Our Forest Allies initiative is a new and innovative approach to protecting forests and biodiversity. Forest Allies emphasizes the importance of forest communities as guardians of the forest and how we can assist them by connecting our market partners directly to their work. We are pleased to welcome Kingfisher as a founding member of Forest Allies, congratulate them on their sustainability commitments and look forward to working together to forge new solutions to ensure that people and nature thrive in harmony.”
Kingfisher plc is an international home improvement company with approximately 1,370 stores, supported by a team of 78,000 colleagues. We operate in eight countries across Europe under retail banners including B&Q, Castorama, Brico Dépôt, Screwfix, TradePoint and Koçtaş. We offer home improvement products and services to consumers and trade professionals who shop in our stores and via our e-commerce channels. At Kingfisher, our purpose is to help make better homes accessible for everyone. www.kingfisher.com
About the Rainforest Alliance
The Rainforest Alliance is an international non-profit organization working in more than 70 countries at the intersection of business, agriculture and forests. The Rainforest Alliance is creating a more sustainable world by using social and market forces to protect nature and improve the lives of farmers and forest communities. By bringing farmers, forest communities, companies, and consumers together it addresses some of the most pressing social and environmental challenges of today. The organization changes the way the world produces, sources and consumes, with a focus on cocoa, coffee, tea, bananas, forest products, and palm oil through its certification program, supply-chain services, landscape management, and advocacy. In 2019, more than five million hectares of land and more than two million farmers were certified according to the Rainforest Alliance or UTZ standards, which are designed to improve economic, environmental, and social sustainability.
About Forest Allies
Forest Allies is a community of practice focused on protecting, restoring, and enabling responsible management of tropical forests. Together with company partners, we will build and foster unique partnerships, work beyond individual supply chains, and engage and empower local communities in critical forest landscapes. We invite your company to join our Forest Allies community to have a greater impact on forests.
Teneo: +44 (0) 20 7420 3184 / [email protected]
Contacts Rainforest Alliance/Forest Allies
Samantha Morrissey, Sector Lead, Forest Products / [email protected]
Notes to editors
(1) Kingfisher’s Responsible Business priorities:
In 2020 we revisited our Responsible Business strategy and identified four key priorities, where we can use our experience, scale and influence to go even further in bringing about positive change:
· Colleagues: We will be an inclusive company, breaking down barriers to employment and progression, and by providing five million hours of learning by 2025 through our ‘skills for life’ programme. We will also have inclusivity action plans in place for all our businesses by the end of FY 20/21, and have targeted improved gender balance in management.
· Planet: We will help tackle climate change and create more forests than we use, delivering 100% responsibly sourced wood and paper in all the products we sell by the end of FY 20/21, becoming ‘forest-positive’ by 2025 through supporting reforestation projects from 2021 and achieving our approved science-based carbon reduction targets as previously committed.
· Customers: We help make greener, healthier homes affordable. We are aiming for 50% of our total group sales in FY 20/21 to come from products that help our customers create greener, healthier homes.
· Communities: Fight to fix bad housing, by helping more than one million people whose housing needs are greatest by 2025.