Marks and Spencer (M&S) has revealed impressive results of their Plan A – eco and ethical programme in 2010/11. This is another milestone on their objective of becoming the most sustainable major global retailer by 2015.
Just a few days ago they announced their latest initiative, the Forever Fish campaign. Now we can reveal some of the other successes of their programme to become a more eco and ethical business.
In a strong display of their community involvement and reach, the results show that over two million of their customers are now involved in Plan A . This ranges from customers who are buying organic and free range food, products made form sustainable materials and Fairtrade. These are just a few things of what they are doing to become a more sustainable business.
M&S green and renewable energy initiatives
Marks and Spencer’s Plan A programme continues to drive forward improvements in green energy. The green energy initiatives involve both energy efficiency and using renewable sources.
Energy efficiency highlights include:
- Distributing 38,000 free energy monitors to employees and providing 4,000 homes with free insulation
- Reducing total carbon emissions across the business by 13% since 2007
M&S’ green store in Sheffield is at the forefront of their energy efficiency initiatives.
With regard to renewable energy sources, they now make up 5% of Marks and Spencer’s overall electricity usage. To achieve this they are using small-scale hydro, wind and anaerobic digestion generators.
M&S and customers charity donations
M&S’ involvement with Oxfam raised £3.3 million for the charity, through the Oxfam Clothes Exchange initiative. In 2010, the retailer held two One Day Wardrobe Clear-out events whereby their customers brought back their unwanted clothes to M&S stores. As an incentive to their customers, they received a voucher to spend in store for their clothes donation.
Furthermore, over a million of their customers bought products that resulted in direct donations to charities. The range of charities that have benefited from this are diverse and include Oxfam, Macmillan Cancer Support, Breakthrough Breast Cancer and Leukemia & Lymphoma Research’s Botham Walk.
Plan A eco programme continues to impress
Since launching Plan A four years ago, M&S is showing that eco and ethical business practices is delivering results. Only recently they announced that their Green Living Spaces initiative had reached 100 projects.
Green Abode are big fans of M&S for the dedication and focus they are putting into their Plan A programme. Many large companies in the UK only have a token eco or ethical initiative, and it often seems like something patched on by the marketing department.
M&S, on the other hand, have put sustainability at the core of their business and are seeing positive results from their move. Keep up the good work Marks and Spencer’s and we will keep you updated on their green business developments.
M&S has a greener living shop which showcases their eco and green range and includes:
- Fairtrade cotton women’s, lingerie, kids and men’s clothes
- Recycled polyester kids clothes and home accessories
- Fairtrade and organic wine
- Fairtrade flowers
- Green energy solutions for the home
- Recycling of large appliances