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Home improvement giant Kingfisher pledges to plant more trees than it consumes

Inside Brico Dépôt Spain's Almeria store. Brico Dépôt Spain is a brand of Kingfisher.

Inside Brico Dépôt Spain's Almeria store. Brico Dépôt Spain is a brand of Kingfisher. Photo courtesy of Kingfisher.

Home improvement giant Kingfisher in late August pledged to create more forest than it consumes by 2025, as part of a beefed-up sustainability strategy designed to reduce the environmental impact of its supply chain and support the development of greener homes.

The firm said it is aiming to cut back its impact on the world's forests by using 100 percent responsibly sourced wood and paper in all products it sells and by investing in new reforestation projects from 2021 onwards.

The forest-focused target accompanies three further "responsible business priorities" to increase inclusivity across the business, work to improve "bad" housing and support efforts to "make greener, healthier homes affordable."

"As a home improvement business, we know that too many families across Europe are living in homes that are unfit — too small, too dark, too cold and too damp — issues that COVID has made even worse," said Thierry Garnier, chief executive at Kingfisher.

"At the same time, climate change and biodiversity loss remain urgent, global threats. Our new priorities focus our efforts on the four areas where we believe we can have the biggest impact."

To support delivery of the new targets, the company said it has created a Responsible Business Committee, which will report to the board.

The new commitments build on a raft of sustainability initiatives adopted by Kingfisher in recent years, first outlined in its 2018 Sustainable Growth Plan.

Since then, the business has boosted the proportion of its sales from products that help make customers' homes greener — such as LED lighting and low-flow taps — to 37 percent of all sales, it said.

It also has cut the greenhouse gas emissions of its operations and energy use by 18 percent, as it works towards its 2025 carbon reduction target of 22 percent reduction against a 2016 baseline, approved last year by the Science Based Targets Initiative.

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