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Kingfisher unveils global CSR plans

December 2001

The retail group Kingfisher has outlined plans to improve the social and environmental performance of its 16 operating companies.

The group, which owns home improvement businesses including B&Q in the UK, Castorama in France and Brazil, Koctas in Turkey and Reno-Depot in Canada, has published the plans in a 56-page document sent to managers around the world.

The Plan for corporate social responsibility includes a timetable that requires each operating company to draw up bespoke CSR plans in the course of the next year.

In particular, each company has been told to commit itself to reaching one of four ‘rungs’ of a ‘ladder’ on issues such as supply chain monitoring, the environment, climate change and impact on the community (see box below).

Once it has defined its level of commitment, each company must produce, by April 2002, an action plan that will be reviewed by Kingfisher’s social responsibility team.

The team will then ‘coach and advise’ managers and directors. It aims to have visited each company twice by the end of 2002 ‘to help develop plans and learn about progress’.

The Kingfisher plan stresses that companies within the group are at ‘different stages’ on CSR and that managers will have to show ‘a great deal of patience’ when looking for results.

A senior manager in each operating company will be responsible for overseeing the work and keeping Kingfisher informed of progress. These managers will meet regularly and will also come together at an annual conference.

Kingfisher says smaller discussion groups are ‘already forming’ around key issues and special areas of interest. These include a forum for its French companies, a quality and supplier assessment forum on codes of conduct and supply chains, and a forum made up of representatives from all of the group’s electrical retailers.

Kingfisher also plans to:

set up, by December 2002, an area on its corporate web site where managers can report progress

collect and publish data across the group, by the same date, on energy use, transport, emissions, waste production and water consumption

produce an annual summary report on progress. Operating companies will be able to report independently on their own activities if they wish.

The Kingfisher social responsibility committee will formally review each operating company’s progress on a regular basis starting in June 2002. All the operating companies will be reviewed within six months of that date. The committee of 12 senior managers agrees overall strategy direction for the group’s social responsibility programme and reports to the main Kingfisher board.

Its members include board directors Sir Geoffrey Mulcahy, Sir John Banham, Margaret Salmon and Alan Knight, who is Kingfisher’s head of social responsibility.



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