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Organizational Change
Kingfisher Integrates Sustainability Team Alongside Customer Insights, Communications

Home improvement company Kingfisher, which owns retail chains B&Q, Castorama, Brico Depot, Screwfix and Koçtaş, is undergoing major changes within its sustainability team, reports edie. Rather than reporting to a sustainability director, Kingfisher’s sustainability team is now managed alongside its customer insights, corporate affairs and external communications divisions under the company’s newly-appointed Chief Customer Officer, Pierre Woreczek.

“At Kingfisher, we aim to be a truly sustainable company, where social and environmental considerations are part of our culture and integrated into all of our operations. By integrating sustainability into all we do and offering customers solutions for sustainable products, we can help our customers create sustainable homes and generate value for our business,” Woreczek told edie.

The restructuring follows the departure of two of Kingfisher’s most senior sustainability executives. The company’s former Group Sustainability Director, Richard Gillies, left at the end of January, while Dax Lovegrove, who worked as Kingfisher’s director of sustainability and innovation, left the company in February. While the pair were responsible for leading Kingfisher’s progress on sustainability through its Net Positive plan, which includes 53 specific sustainability targets, the company asserts that its commitment to sustainability “remains unchanged” and is “as strong as ever.”

“We are moving to a model where we are embedding accountability for sustainability delivery into the heart of our business, by getting functional and operational business owners to take responsibility for it,” a Kingfisher spokesperson told edie. “We are in a different place now to when we began our Net Positive journey. In light of that, it is not surprising that our sustainability team and the roles required to deliver it evolve as our Net Positive journey evolves as well.”

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Kingfisher has appointed Gemma Brierley as its new Sustainability Director for the offer and supply chain function. Edie reports that Brierley is specifically focusing on improving and creating sustainable products.

The changes are but a few of those under the firm’s new Chief Executive Officer Véronique Laury, who replaced Sir Ian Cheshire last year.

“Following the departure of Sir Ian, Kingfisher is taking a slightly different approach to sustainability - driving the responsibility for leading sustainability much further down into the organisation,” Gillies told edie. “Therefore, my role has changed and Véronique and I took the opportunity for me to move on from the group and pursue other things.

“Things go in waves and phases – businesses are now moving into the next phase of sustainability; they are looking for different ways of embedding sustainability. Some of the great work that was done at B&Q is now being rapidly deployed to other companies within the group, as [Kingfisher is] doing more centralised purchasing – which is great to see.”