B&Q is the UK’s largest home improvement retailer, serving 3 million customers every week. In 2008, B&Q launched the One Planet Home program, which has two aspects – Our Home and Your Home. The “Your Home” component of the One Planet Home Program aims to make it easy and affordable for customers to reduce their environmental impacts and create a sustainable home. Through the program B&Q offers a range of One Planet Home products as well as supportive mechanisms to make it easier for customers to choose a sustainable lifestyle.
The B&Q’s One Planet Home range consists of almost 4,000 products which have to perform well in one of the following six areas in order to be accredited as One Planet Home: Save Energy, Save Water, Recycle and Reuse, Grow your Own (e.g. vegetable seeds), Healthy Homes (e.g. minimal VOC paint), and Conserve Nature (e.g. nest boxes). This program has led to high sales of insulation and light bulbs as customers look for low-cost energy-saving solutions. For example the sales of One Planet Home light bulbs increase by 75% in 2012.
In 2012 B&Q launched the B&Q Energy Saving brand, offering home energy efficient tips, advice, and product installation services. Energy Saving Shops were opened in four stores to sell products and services with specialized teams to provide customer advice. Bruce Marsh, Managing Director, B&Q Energy Saving has said: “We’re excited to see the results of our energy centre trial as we make energy saving easier and more affordable for homeowners. We’ve been working with experts in energy efficiency and we’re invested in new products, services and training to ensure that B&Q is the best place to come for energy saving advice”. To support this program B&Q bought and retrofitted a home as a demonstration centre.
To provide in store advice on One Planet Home products, from 2010 to 2012, B&Q had an Eco Advisor in each store. The advisors provided information to customers about how to reduce the impacts of their home or do DIY the greener way. In 2013 the Eco Advisor program was discontinued because rather than training one individual per store B&Q now focuses on training all staff on relevant issues and encouraging all staff to share their ideas and experiences in creating a sustainable home. As well, B&Q is trialling One Planet Home messaging throughout stores in an attempt to increase sustainable product purchasing and including references to the program in all company brochures.
According to Martyn Phillips, the CEO of B&Q, “The One Planet Home program has driven our business to a position of leadership in sustainability within the home enhancement sector. It has driven significant cost savings, lowered our environmental impacts and helped millions of customers get greener, cheaper, healthier homes.”
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