Second conference day: sustainability, data, culture

Sustainability was one of the focal points on the second day of the 1st DIY-Summit organised by the two international associations Edra/Ghin and Hima. Michael Schneider, managing director of Bunnings, Jorma Rauhala, deputy CEO of Kesko, Maurizio Beolchi, area vice-president of 3M, and Victoria Neuhofer, a member of the family that owns FN Neuhofer and founder of Damn Plastic, covered this topic in a discussion panel at the start of the day. While Bunnings is concentrating among other things on reducing plastic waste by switching to recyclable packaging, a key objective of Kesko is to achieve a climate-neutral status. The company is pursuing this goal in production, logistics, in operation of its stores and ultimately also with regard to the products sold. 3M's sustainability strategy is based on three pillars: reducing the resources required, innovations and the company's role in society. Erich Harsch, CEO of Hornbach, spoke to Edra general secretary John Herbert about how DIY retailers were faring in the aftermath of the coronavirus. He was convinced that the cocooning trend would continue in the future, even if it did not yield such high sales figures as during the pandemic. He also believed a mix of on- and offline offers would be necessary in the future. Christina Stathopoulos from the IE Business School took the audience on a trip into the future of the home improvement trade, which will be characterised by the use of data. Finally, Jim Inglis, former executive vice-president of The Home Depot, presented the USA global market leader's recipe for success in his "Breakthrough Retailing" presentation. His message was that the corporate culture matters.