The owner of B&Q and Screwfix has said it will borrow £550 million under a deal that will cut interest rates if it successfully cuts its carbon emissions.
Under the terms of the new credit facility agreement, which runs for three years with the option of two one-year renewals, business owner Kingfisher will benefit from a lower interest rate if it meets specific carbon targets.
The company is currently committed to tackling climate change by reducing carbon emissions from its business, products and supply chain.
The goal is to achieve science-based CO2 reduction targets of 1.5°C by 2025 – an improvement on the previous target that was in line with the reductions needed to keep global warming to 2°C.Kingfisher also plans to plant more forests than it uses to achieve 100 percent sustainable wood and paper for its products by 2025.
The current level is just over 80 percent. Last year it first introduced its ‘Responsible Business’ principles with a focus on sustainability and climate change. As part of this, it has opened 12 ‘zero energy’ stores in the UK in recent years.Bernard Bot, Chief Financial Officer of Kingfisher, said:
“This revolving credit facility demonstrates our commitment to integrate our Responsible Business principles into all aspects of our business.
“Our Responsible Business plan is an integral part of our ‘Powered by Kingfisher’ strategy and this facility links our ambitious sustainability and community goals to our funding activities.
” We are making great strides in our climate change and community programs and I look forward to working with all of our stakeholders to deliver on our commitments The company said it will also work to help more than two million people restore the poor housing conditions they live in, doubling their previous commitment.
The new loan should help it realize plans to buy 50 new Screwfixes this year. shops in the UK and employ around 600 people.
The DIY sector saw a boom in business in 2020 as the pandemic lockdowns forced many people to stay at home and show more interest in home improvement projects.
Products such as paint, but also plants, seeds and bulbs grew by almost 50 percent year-on-year in 2020 due to increased demand.