Home improvement retailer Kingfisher has announced plans to invest £50 million in renewable energy across its network of locations in an effort to reduce energy consumption from the national grid by 10% in the next two years.

The investment will predominately be used to fund solar PV installations, with panels being rolled-out immediately on distribution centres and selected stores in the UK and France. The company expects to continue this into the majority of the ten countries in which it operates, and will supplement solar installations with other renewable energy sources such as air source heat pumps, combined heat and power boilers and new fuel cell generation.

Richard Gillies, sustainability director for Kingfisher, said: “We hope our renewables investment helps demonstrate to the world’s leaders discussing the climate deal this week that leading businesses want a sustainable future, and to see the right deal in Paris.”

The investment decision was made following the completion of a solar PV installation at the head office and contact centre of Kingfisher’s Screwfix brand, located in Yeovil. The panels are now generating more than a third of the centre’s power.

This latest announcement follows the launch of Kingfisher’s 'Net Positive' plan in 2012 when it committed to transforming the business to have a positive impact on the environment. The company plans to have all of its stores zero carbon or generating more energy than they consume by 2050, and has set the same goal for each of its customers’ homes. It has already reduced its property portfolio’s energy intensity by 17% since 2010/11.

Gillies added: “This renewables investment is part of our Net Positive journey to transform our business to be a force for good. There’s plenty more we can do but business needs stability and certainty to make these types of long-term investment decisions. That’s why we need leadership in Paris – it’s the key to enabling the consistent national policies and incentives business needs to invest.”