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M&S makes headway on 2020 sustainability targets

Marks & Spencer is making significant progress in embedding its sustainable business plan – Plan A – across its operations, according to a half-year update just issued by the British high street stalwart.

Over 60% of M&S products, almost two billion items sold every year, now have a Plan A attribute – an eco or ethical quality above the market norm. Attributes make it easy for M&S customers to shop more sustainably and further embeds Plan A into every buying department, says the company. The figure puts M&S well ahead of its target to have 50% by 2015 and on track for all M&S products to have an attribute by 2020.

On the logistics side, the M&S food delivery team has added 14 trailers to its fleet that use Liquid Nitrogen to refrigerate the unit, rather than traditional diesel fuel. M&S says the viability of the trailers to replace the 670 diesel fuelled trailers that the M&S food delivery team runs will be assessed over a number of years.

In energy, the retailer has announced that it will be rolling out LED lighting to every M&S Food Hall over the next two years. LED is a key element of M&S’ strategy to meet the Plan A energy efficiency commitments to reduce energy usage by 35% by 2015 and 50% by 2020 relative to square footage increase (against a 2006/7 baseline). In stores where LED lighting was trialled, energy consumption was reduced by 20%.

In clothing, almost a third of the cotton sourced by M&S is now grown to BCI (Better Cotton Initiative) standards and The Marks & Spencer Clothes Exchange, known as Shwopping in the UK, has been launched in M&S’ 20 stores in the Czech Republic and 17 stores in Hong Kong.

Mike Barry, Director of Plan A at M&S, commented: “It’s been an exciting first six months for Plan A 2020. Launched in June, the new 100 commitment sustainable business plan is making an impact on M&S operations across the world and engaging our customers, employees and partners in more sustainable lifestyles and ways of doing business.

“It is helping us stand up and take action on the sustainable retail challenges of today and tomorrow. Our products are becoming more sustainable, we’re testing new technology that could transform our future operations and we’re supporting causes that make a real difference to the future for our customers and the local communities we operate in.

“We’re also ensuring we share best practice and learn from others. Only through collaboration will business create meaningful change and our work with the Consumer Goods Forum is a great example of big companies coming together to make shops and products better for both people and planet.”

Marks & Spencer | UK & NI Ireland | Reporting


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