Case study: B&Q

B&Q recently announced plans to slash its carbon footprint by 90% over the next 25 years. By joining 10:10, the company shows it's serious about achieving the first chunk of those savings in the short term. Matt Sexton, B&Q's director of social responsibility, says: "It's too big to think about a 90% reduction in one go, so breaking it into bite-sized chunks like 10% during 2010 is a great way to motivate people."

A large slice of B&Q's carbon footprint comes from the energy consumed in its 331 giant stores. Green features can be built in when new stores are being constructed, such as the B&Q "eco-store" at New Malden in Surrey. A bigger challenge is increasing the energy performance of existing stores. The first step, according to Sexton, is "insulating well and maximising natural light so you're not paying for energy that's simply being wasted". Next, the company will need to find and fit "the most energy-efficiency heating, lighting and appliances".

Another major component of B&Q's footprint is its fleet of delivery trucks – the key will be shifting to more efficient vehicles. B&Q has already rolled out 60 double-decker trucks and plans to almost double this number by 2010. These next-generation lorries can carry far more goods on each trip, reducing the total number of miles that need to be driven by about 4,800 miles a day.

B&Q also plans a large reduction in the amount of waste it sends to landfill, plus a programme to cut down the amount of packaging on the items it sells. As Sexton points out: "There's no point overpackaging products, shipping around fresh air or unnecessarily polluting the waste stream."

Biggest difference: Double-decker lorries so its fleet clock up fewer miles.

Bigger worry: Making its existing network of stores more efficient.