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Kingfisher's new approach to doing business

"Net Positive" is Kingfisher's new approach to doing business. To succeed, business must do more than minimise its negative impact – it must be designed to have a positive one and Net Positive sets out how Kingfisher plans to achieve this.

To take measurable and meaningful steps towards our aspiration, we have intrinsically linked Net Positive to our core business strategy. We've identified four priority areas where we believe we can make the biggest difference and have 50 targets to be achieved by 2020 to keep us on track.

Timber is one of our four priority areas and securing sustainable timber is an area we have a proud and long history in. 86% of our timber across the Kingfisher Group is already independently certified, verified or recycled and we're aiming to get that to 100% by 2020. Our Net Positive aspiration though, 'to create more forest than we use' marks a step-change in the businesses commitment and approach. Despite global measures to tackle deforestation, the world is still losing forest at an alarming rate – it is critical that we play our part – not just preventing deforestation but in working towards net reforestation.

Improving forests and woodlands is not only good for them it is also good for our business. It is enabling us to protect and secure a valuable resource that is used in a third of all of our products. What's more, we estimate achieving our 2020 target and strategic plans could save our business between £45 million and £60 million by 2020 alone. In a world where the use of resources is outstripping supply, Net Positive is a powerful business driver, where commercial and environmental successes are mutually reinforcing.

We don't have all the answers but we do believe our Net Positive goal inspires and has the power to be the catalyst for collaboration within our business and in the wider world with our partners, NGOs, Governments and business at large.

Jamie Lawrence is Senior Sustainability Advisor at Kingfisher

This article has been published in the ACE Newsletter Winter 2012.

Published on 10 January 2013