How M&S aims to be world's 'most sustainable' store
8 March, 2010
Marks & Spencer has launched a programme to make it the world’s most sustainable retailer by 2015, introducing 80 major new commitments under M&S’s eco and ethical plan, 'Plan A.'
The company plans to covert all 2.7bn individual M&S food, clothing and home items (across 36,000 product lines) into ‘Plan A products’, so that each has at least one sustainable or ethical quality, such as Fairtrade or Marine Stewardship Council certification or uses free range or other sustainable ingredients. It aims to convert 50% of products by 2015 and 100% by 2020.
It also wants to encourage M&S customers and employees to live ‘greener’ lifestyles. It has already launched a new competition. 'Your Green Idea', which encourages customers to submit their ideas for ‘green’ actions for M&S to adopt. The winning idea will receive £100,000 to be spent on ‘greening’ an organisation such as a school, charity or small business.
A major part of the initiative involves improving conditions and benefits for workers at its overseas suppliers.
Other commitments include:
- Sourcing all cardboard for food packaging via a single ‘model’ forest programme;
- Becoming the first major retailer to ensure that six key raw materials – palm oil, soya, cocoa, beef, leather, coffee – come from sustainable sources that do not contribute to deforestation;
- Increasing the number of clothing garments customers recycle every year from two million to 20 million, including via a partnership with Oxfam, significantly reducing the tonnage of clothing sent to landfill;
- Launching a five-year £50m Plan A incubator fund to support the development of innovative new ‘Plan A’ products and services;
- Offering free home insulation and a free home energy monitor to all eligible employees and giving them one paid, day-off a year to work in their local communities.
Chairman Sir Stuart Rose, Chairman of Marks & Spencer said: “Since we launched our eco plan, Plan A, in 2007 we’ve reduced our environmental impact, developed new sustainable products and services, helped improve the lives of people in our local communities and saved around £50 million by being more efficient."
“Our extended Plan A will reach further and move us faster – covering every part of our business and reaching out to forests, farms, factories, lorries, warehouses and into our customers’ and employees’ homes. We believe sustainability is a key ingredient of business success and that Plan A will continue to make us more efficient, develop new markets and build customer loyalty. It’s therefore not just the right thing to do morally but also makes strong commercial sense.”
Full details about Plan A and these new commitments can be found at www.marksandspencer.com