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Marks & Spencer has announced plans to open its most sustainable UK store at Ecclesall Road in Sheffield. The store will be the first of a number of planned ‘Sustainable Learning' stores*, which will further increase M&S' understanding of sustainable construction techniques and processes.

The new 12,400 sq ft Simply Food store, due to open in April and built from scratch on a former brownfield site, incorporates a host of sustainable and innovative design and construction features. The store is set to achieve a BREEAM** rating of Excellent, and has received a Considerate Constructors Scheme*** score of 37.5 out of 40, making it one of the most sustainable retail outlets in the UK. When it is fully unveiled the store will:

Feature materials that have been carefully selected in order to reduce waste and energy use:

  • 100% of the construction waste produced in the building of the store has been recycled;
  • The project is undergoing full FSC certification and we expect 100% of the timber used in the building will be FSC certified, a first for M&S;
  • All the bricks have been reclaimed from an old mill;
  • Polished concrete floors will remove the need for additional floor covering.

Operate sustainably:

  • Harvested rainwater will supply all the toilets and irrigate the store's green ‘living wall', reducing water costs by up to 40% compared with a conventional similarly sized store;
  • The store will also be heated by expelled heat from its refrigeration units, helping to reduce the its carbon output by 23%;
  • Highly efficient LED lighting will be used throughout the store, a first in the UK, and sun pipes will bring natural lighting onto the shop floor.

Create wildlife habitats:

  • A sedum roof and green ‘living wall' will create wildlife habitats as well as insulate the building and act as a pollution filter;
  • Bird boxes around the perimeter wall of the site;
  • In total, 62 types of plants are being planted on or around the store.

Provide sustainable transport solutions for customers:

  • Electric car charging points will be available in the car park;
  • LED screens in the store will give customers real time local transport information;
  • Trolley and cycle shelters, located in the car park, will also be made from FSC certified wood and have a green sedum roof.


All employees at the store will be fully trained to understand its environmental features and will be encouraged to share this information with customers.

Clem Constantine, Director of Property & Store Development at Marks & Spencer said: “This store represents a big milestone in our sustainable construction programme as we are installing a host of unique technologies and features. Each of these sustainable features is remarkable in its own right, however by bringing them all together in one development, something that is rarely done by retailers, we will achieve a whole that is worth far more than the sum of its parts. The learnings we have taken from building the store, coupled with those we will make over its lifetime, will help us achieve our goal of becoming the world's most sustainable major retailer by 2015.”

Allison Burnley, Store Manager at Ecclesall Road, said: “We are delighted to be opening this new Sustainable Learning Store in Sheffield, which once completed will be the most environmentally friendly store M&S has ever built. This development brings a fresh shopping environment to the area and we're counting down the weeks to unveiling our exciting, modern store to customers.”

Paul King, CEO of the UK Green Building Council said: “Sustainability is increasingly important in the construction and property sector and major companies like M&S have a crucial role in driving that process, particularly given the relationship not just with suppliers, but also with consumers. This new M&S store at Ecclesall Road is an impressive achievement, not only for its host of environmental features and the positive social effect it will have on the local community, but also the lessons that will be learnt for both M&S and the wider construction industry.”

M&S announced in 2010 a commitment to opening two ‘Sustainable Learning Stores' a year as part of its goal to become the world's most sustainable major retailer by 2015 through its sustainability programme Plan A.

In addition to the store's eco-credentials, it will create over 50 new jobs for the area and boost M&S' presence in the region. It will offer quality food products including ready meals, fresh produce, sandwiches, salads and snacks. Shoppers will also be able to choose from a comprehensive selection of wine and champagne and will be able to relax with a Fairtrade coffee in an M&S Café.


Notes to Editors

* M&S Sustainable Learning stores are intended to further enhance M&S' understanding of sustainable construction, providing increased knowledge and insight into how to ultimately create a store that:

• Has zero embodied carbon in construction.

• Is made from 100% recycled material.

• Is 100% recyclable when refurbished or no longer needed.

• Has a net positive biodiversity impact.

• Is resilient to climate change.

• Brings new benefits to the communities we serve.

** BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method) is the leading and most widely used environmental assessment method for buildings. It sets the standard for best practice in sustainable design and has become the de facto measure used to describe a building's environmental performance.

***The Considerate Constructors Scheme is the national initiative, set up by the construction industry, to improve its image. Sites and companies that register with the Scheme sign up and are monitored against a Code of Considerate Practice, designed to encourage best practice beyond statutory requirements. The Scheme is concerned about any area of construction activity that may have a direct or indirect impact on the image of the industry as a whole. The main areas of concern fall into three main categories: the environment, the workforce and the general public.

About Plan A

Plan A is Marks & Spencer's eco and ethical programme which aims to make M&S the world's most sustainable major retailer by 2015. Launched in 2007 and extended in March 2010, it takes a holistic approach to sustainability focusing on involving customers, involving all areas of the business and tackling issues such as climate change, waste, raw materials, health and being a fair partner.

For a presentation on M&S Ecclesall Road, please visit:

For further information, please contact:

Philip Sorensen M&S Corporate Press Office 020 8718 1967 / 07876 257 397