Business Ethics

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In 2007, B&Q stores in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland began changing their stores to make up for the current climate change. All B&Q stores are worked on to ensure they are as environmentally friendly as possible. They do this by making sure their stores, practices and even products are energy efficient. Raising awareness to the customer of the benefits of using the products with lower environmental impact has a major help on the company to make drastic changes to the energy consumption used.

The Corporate Leader Groups on Climate Changes’ (CLGCC) Chief Executive, Ian Cheshire, reflects the active role in the area. He brings together other business leaders from major UK and international companies who believe that there is an urgency to develop new and long-term policies for tackling climate change. B;Q Operations: Since 1994, B;Q have been doing trials in store design and redesign to help improve on the energy efficiency within the stores. An example of this is the company have trialled passive ventilation where vents on the roof harness wind power manually to ventilate offices and retail space.

After this trial they made this procedure stand across all their stores nationwide. From 1998 and onward, all of B;Q’s stores have been fitted with a Trend Building Management System. This will control all heating and lighting through out the store. However since 2002, all of the newer stores have been fitted with dimming facilities to the sales area lighting and in order to help maximise energy savings a quarter of the roofs are fitted with translucent panels. As the natural day lighting increases, the system will dim the stores lights to a minimum present level which is (30%).

The dimming system will also operate at 50% lighting levels overnight to save energy during restocking. New renewable technologies are planned for their New Malden store, which was scheduled to open in 2007. These technologies included a ground source heat pump, vertical axis wind turbine, solar thermal heating, PV and ‘sun pipes’. A viewing tower will also be fitted with a wind turbine fitted on top in order for the public to see the products. Not only this but energy meters will be fitted so recordings of the savings can be achieved.

B&Q’s Energy Department entered into a contract to provide automatic energy monitoring of the companies mainland UK store and office premises with data available at half hourly intervals. As part of B;Q’s energy efficiency campaign, they have introduced a program called the “Carbon Clean-Up Campaign” at their headquarters (Store Support Office) this will engage staff to promote the uptake of environmentally sound policies such as switching off all PCs and monitors when not needed, using recycled bins and closing external doors and windows to preserve heat.

As a business, B&Q faces many of the same problems as its customers. They invested more in micro-generation technology for their stores but they have their difficulties and actions associated with planning permission. However they have already identified their Workshop Distribution Centre as the site for a 2MWp wind turbine and have reviewed their property portfolio so they can look at other suitable sites in areas where local councils were willing to grant planning permission.

In 2007 B&Q began changing their stores in order to make up for the current climate change. They began bringing in new ideas and technology in order to reduce the amount of energy being consumed within the stores both when open and closed. The company has being going through trials in the store design to help with the energy efficiency since 2004. They have trialled many different ways of reducing the energy used such as trend building management systems and passive ventilation. The trend building management system helps to control the lighting and heating within the stores.

It also fits around 15% of the roof with translucent panels in order to help on energy savings. I feel that these procedures can be effective in many ways as they can be controlled to synchronise with natural daylight and temperature to help increase savings. Having these changes to the building in my opinion will allow the company to save and improve the store in many other ways. The new Malden store which opened in 2007 includes a ground source heating pump, vertical axis wind turbines and many more different energy saving features.

This technology will not only help to improve on savings it will also have an impact on the environment as the store will be using natural resources to help supply the store with energy that’s needed such as heat and lighting. Although these stores have introduced all of these new energy efficient ideas they have also introduced the “carbon clean-up campaign” at their head quarters which will get staff to engage in the uptake of environmentally sound policies such as switching off all computers and monitors when not in use and using recycle bin and closing all doors and windows to preserve heat.

Part 2 a) Efficient energy is the goal to use less energy. Everyday items have been changed to become more energy efficient, meaning they use less energy to make their products. For example having your home insulated allowed the building to use less heat, therefore the heating and cooling bill will cost less. Installing energy saving bulbs will help reduce the electricity as they last longer and don’t use as much energy. Part 2 b) The energy consumption has increased because more energy is being used rather than being converted and lost.

An example of this is light gives of light energy which then converts into heat energy. This heat energy is then lost. B&Q have recognized this and showed ways they can change this by using new advanced lighting which allows them to increase their energy consumption and reduce the loss of energy and increase their energy efficiency. However they also improve their energy efficiency is by using insulation. They use this buy insulating their warehouses; this helps trap heat so less energy is being used. This is energy efficiency as they are using less energy but are still keeping the room at the same temperature.

Part 2 c) I think B&Q’s energy policy is very successful as it has enabled the company to decrease their carbon footprint. The things they have done well to improve energy efficiency are their improved lighting, instillation and the introduction of the “carbon clean up campaign. ” I feel this as they are not only using less energy they are thinking of ways they can solve the problem to help other companies become more environmentally friendly. I feel that in order for B;Q to improve in the future would be to use different types of bags that are more environmentally friendly such as paper bags.

This would make a big difference as it would not only save the company money it would also help the environment as the bags are recyclable. Part 3 a) B;Q have made commitments on climate change. They have set targets to reduce their carbon footprints. They have done this by signing up to 10:10 which sees them striving to further educe their emmisions, by making their electricity to be zero by 2023, for all their new stores to be zero carbon by 2012 and to reduce their co2 by 90% by 2023.

So far they have achieved: * 16% absolute reduction in total CO2 against a 06/07 baseline * Our new store at New Malden includes a variety of low carbon technologies, including solar panels and ground source heat pumps * 12% reduction in CO2 from electricity – store lighting accounts for more than half of our carbon footprint. We’ve invested in technology to provide a half lighting solution in 40 sites * 2MW wind turbine operational at Worksop distribution centre from February 2009

* B&Q was one of the first twelve organisations to achieve the carbon trust standard * 7% reduction in CO2 from store heating Part 3 b) B&Q have saved a huge amount of money after changing their services to protect the environment. Some of the changes made may take time make a profit again for example the lighting installations. This will be because some of the changes may have had substantial start up costs but through their benefits they will pay back in the long run.

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