B&Q's Greenest Store

Well it's certainly been a week for DIY retailer B&Q. On Friday 13th February they will be selling a million loft insulation rolls at £1 apiece (whilst socks last) and on Wednesday they opened their greenest ever store at New Malden in Surrey.

The new £9 million southwest London store, B&Q's greenest store ever, is part of their commitment to be a zero carbon emission company by 2012 and boasts a 20Kw wind turbine, FSC timber throughout the build, natural heating, solar panels, rainwater collection and a green roof. Wow! That's a lot!

Now the building industry has often been branded as one of the least environmentally friendly but B&Q are making a huge commitment to changing that and their range of eco brands and materials is expanding, giving people greater access to greener materials with which to build & renovate their homes. Their "One Planet" range now covers 2000 eco items.

B&Q is just one of 12 companies across the UK to achieve the Carbon Trust Standard which

certifies that an organisation has genuinely reduced its carbon footprint and is committed to making further reductions year on year

And you can see the level of commitment in the long list of improvements to their 50% greener store, and I quote;

  • a 20KW wind turbine situated on a 35m tower on the top of the store will help generate energy for the store – it’s the largest integrated turbine yet installed on a building in the UK
  • FSC certified timber has been used throughout
  • Ground source heat pumps heat and cool the store with geothermal energy which takes energy from the earth using 108 bore holes at 100 metres deep
  • Rainwater harvesting – rainwater is collected from the store’s roof and used to water plants in the roof top garden centre and for flushing the toilets
  • A photovoltaic system; which converts light into electricity will provide shade for the coffee shop and convert solar radiation into electricity to run appliances and lighting
  • Solar thermal water heating panels will generate hot water for the WCs and the coffee shop
  • Insulated to the highest levels reducing loss of heat and CO2 through walls and roof
  • A green roof planted with sedum; an herbaceous plant, will absorb CO2 and provide added value to biodiversity as well as reducing rainwater run-off
  • North-light roof provides higher natural lighting levels and reduces reliance on artificial lighting.  All lighting throughout the store will use energy efficient light bulbs
  • Automatic lighting dimming control system will reduce energy consumption
  • Natural ventilation from the roof vents help to make the store more comfortable in summer

That's pretty impressive.


I really congratulate B&Q for doing this, but I always doubt any company that claims to be "Zero carbon emmision" or "Carbon neutral". Those phrases are used a lot these days. But not to dampen the spirit- the initiatives are fantastic and I really hope others follow suit.

At least they're trying though, which is to be commended. "Greenwashing" is all too common these days but the measures B&Q have implemented show thought, extent and commitment. It's certainly better than "business as usual" and merely donating a few quid to an environmental charity :)