Kingfisher plc becomes a member of the Rainforest Alliance ‘Forest Allies’ initiative

  • 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[1] 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.

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.

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.”

[1] https://www.rainforest-alliance.org/business/forest-allies/our-focus-on-integrated-community-forest-management/

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