Marks & Spencer is first major retailer to become carbon neutral
In its 2012 How We Do Business Report, which reports on the progress of the first five years of the retailer’s Plan A eco and ethical programme, M&S said it had achieved 138 of the 180 commitments with a further 30 being 'on plan'.
M&S said it now recycles 100% of its waste, with nothing going to landfill, and that 31% of its products now have a Plan A attribute such as free range, made at an eco factory or made from recycled material. There are plans to raise this target to 50% by 2015 and to 100% by 2020.
The retailer also said that it used 1.7 billion fewer bags in the five year period, 26% less packaging by weight, and has made its sourcing operations and products more sustainable. It highlighted the fact that over ½ million hours of training and education were completed in its supply chain, and that all of the wild fish now sold at M&S is from the most sustainable sources available.
Over five million customers have taken part in the retailer’s Plan A activities. This includes customers who have participated in beach cleaning events and the recently launched “shwopping” scheme, where customers donate an unwanted item of clothing when buying a new one, with the clothing being re-used, re-sold or recycled by Oxfam.
Marc Bolland, chief executive, Marks & Spencer said: "I am proud of what we’ve achieved. We now have a better, greener and more ethical Marks & Spencer. Moving forward we will continue to engage customers in sustainable consumption, as we have with our Shwopping initiative, the first cradle to cradle clothes retailing business model.
"We remain as committed to Plan A as we have ever been. It is an essential part of our DNA and fundamental to our plans to become an international, multi-channel retailer."
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