We’re a major multinational retailer with strong roots and headquarters in the UK. We sell quality clothing, home and food products – the majority of which is M&S own-brand. Our Group revenue in the year ended 31 March 2016 was £10.4 billion, with an underlying profit before tax of £684.1 million.
We employ 82,900 people and have more than 1,300 stores worldwide. Every year we sell around three billion items, produced by thousands of different suppliers.
Environmental risks and social inequality are making the world more complicated and unpredictable. Customers are increasingly aware of their personal impact on the world and businesses must work hard to build and maintain their trust. Growing pressure on natural resources and poor global stewardship may increase our costs, restrict our access to key raw materials and make our global supply chains more volatile.
Against this backdrop, we’re on a journey to make our business more sustainable. We believe a successful business must also be environmentally and socially sustainable. This belief isn’t new. We’ve always maintained that business practices that benefit society improve our long-term performance.
Commitments and targets
We want to be an international multi-channel retailer that leads on sustainability in our sector.
Plan A is at the heart of our plans to realise this goal. Plan A enables us to fulfil our core purpose – Making Every Moment Special.
Our operations have an impact on the environment and society at a both a local and global level. Our biggest impact comes through the products we sell, their use and their disposal, but can also occur at any stage of our value chain.
Every area of our business plays a role in managing sustainability and delivering Plan A. There are a number of issues which apply across the whole of our business:
We are predominantly an own-brand retailer, branded goods are a very small proportion of what we sell – around one per cent of total lines across the store. Plan A applies to our own products, operations, customers, employees and our supply base, however it does not apply to the supply chains of branded goods. A number of these suppliers do have their own, well respected sustainability programmes, for example Unilever. We work closely with some of these companies, sharing best practice and advice, however ultimately they are responsible for the standards applied to their branded products.
Working with others
Listening, learning, responding and working in partnership is an important part of how we do business.
Many Plan A issues are too large or complex for us to tackle alone, so it is vital that we work with others. Our external partners have already provided solutions, improved our understanding of issues, and helped us inspire our customers. At the corporate level, we’re working with many different organisations, including Oxfam
and the Marine Conservation Society
. Throughout this website, we explain how they, and our many other partners, are helping us address specific issues.