B&Q; Becomes One Planet Living Business, and Stops Selling Patio Heaters in the Process

Bioregional Development Group and B&Q. One Planet Living Business

B&Q;, the UK hardware retailers who have been busy erecting a 2MW wind turbine at their distribution headquarters, and the Bioregional Development Group, the folks who have been busy creating localized paper recycling schemes, TreeStations for urban forestry waste and giant One Planet Living communities around the world, are now teaming up. B&Q; is the first business to sign up with Bioregional to become an official One Planet Living Business.

What this means, in practice, is that B&Q; will work with Bioregional to both reduce their own environmental impact, and to provide products and services that help customers reduce their impact too. Consistent with Bioregional’s approach, the entire process will be informed by ecological footprinting as a means to identify key areas of action. B&Q; have already announced some pretty impressive steps in the right direction, including ceasing sales of a best selling product line due to ecological concerns. Read on for the juicy details.
As initial steps in their road to becoming a One Planet Living business, B&Q; have so far pledged to:

Phase out Patio Heaters – B&Q; is apparently the largest seller of patio heaters in the country. But, given the fact that 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, the company is committing not restocking them once its seasonal stock for 2008 runs out.

Use only FSC certified wood in B&Q; kitchens - B&Q; is also the UK’s largest seller of kitchens, and it has now announced that 100% of the wood it uses in this element of the business is already FSC certified.

Give free growing kits and seeds to 5,000 schools - 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.

This is already a pretty impressive list, but knowing the folks at Bioregional, and having followed already strong sustainability moves from B&Q;, we are pretty confident this is just the beginning. If large retailers like B&Q; are going to evolve towards sustainability, they need a pretty fundamental rethink of their business model that includes massively reducing their own emissions, and truly becoming an enabler for customers to do the same. From initial impressions, this initiative might be the closest we’ve seen to such a move from anyone. ::B&Q;::via Bioregional Development Group::

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