Press Release

M&S PUBLISHES 2015 PLAN A REPORT

04 June 2015

“Strong progress on commitments and Plan A priorities”

Marks & Spencer today publishes its 2015 Plan A Report, the first report since it launched the third stage of its Plan A sustainability journey – Plan A 2020. 

Strong progress has been made on Plan A commitments (47 achieved) and our Plan A priorities including rolling Plan A out across M&S’ international business, driving Plan A attributes into our products and M&S remains the only major retailer in the world to have carbon neutral operations.  

Marc Bolland, Chief Executive, said: “Plan A 2020 is a sustainable business plan that puts Plan A at the heart of our brand. It aims to engage our customers, employees and stakeholders. We’ve made strong progress in the past 12 months, including working with the Consumer Goods Forum and World Economic Forum. As part of this work we’ve actively supported global progress on deforestation, low carbon refrigeration, the circular economy and engaging the ‘millennial’ generation’s attitudes to sustainable consumption.”

Mike Barry, Director of Plan A, said: “Plan A 2020 is delivering a better M&S. It is equipping us for the future and helping us deliver exceptional products and services for our customers. The report shows that we have much to be proud of, but it also shows how long our ‘to do’ list is if we’re to become a truly sustainable business. In the next 12 months we’ll step up our efforts on circular economy activities, roll out a more localised Plan A and become a more transparent business.”  

10 Plan A highlights from the last 12 months  

  1. 2,000 work placements in M&S stores and offices for the young unemployed, 62% of whom have gone on to find employment; 
  2. Almost two thirds (64%) of M&S products now have a Plan A attribute, an eco or ethical quality over and above the market norm, an increase of seven per cent over 13/14;  
  3. Almost a third (32%) of the cotton used to make M&S products now comes from more sustainable sources; 
  4. 100% of the palm oil used in M&S products is now covered by Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil certification; 
  5. Energy efficiency in our UK and RoI stores, offices and warehouses has been improved by 36% against a 2007 baseline;  
  6. More than a quarter (26%) of the leather used to make M&S products now meets the industry leading Independent Leather Working Group Standard (five years ahead of target); 
  7. Energy efficient and long lasting LED lighting has been fitted in 417 stores;
  8. £2.45m raised for health and wellbeing charities, including £1.3m for MacMillan Cancer Support and £700,000 for Breakthrough Breast Cancer; 
  9. Constructed the UK’s largest single roof mounted solar panel array on top of our Castle Donington distribution centre;  
  10. Cut the amount of packaging we use for home deliveries by 60% against a 2009 baseline. 


Plan A in numbers

2.8 billion – the number of carrier bags saved as a result of the 5p Food Hall carrier bag charge introduced in 2008; 

100% – of our wild fish is from sources that are sustainable or are working to be sustainable;

652,000 – workers in the M&S clothing supply chain that have received training from M&S on subjects like financial literacy and health information and services; 

Zero – waste to landfill from M&S operations since 2012; 

£50 million – amount M&S has helped to raise for good causes since 2007; 

1 million – the number of customers engaged with Plan A online since 2007; 

£15 million – raised for Oxfam through clothes recycling since 2008;

10 – years of collaboration with WWF on a shared vision of sustainable natural capital. 


Five sustainability challenges Plan A must tackle in the next twelve months

  1. Engaging customers in Plan A – we have plans in place for a customer-focused campaign that will place Plan A at the heart of our brand marketing and engage millions of customers; 
  2. Being a retail leader in transparency – after a year of customer and stakeholder research a plan is now in place to further improve transparency across the M&S business; 
  3. Developing M&S’ role in creating a circular economy – scaling up closed loop projects such as Shwopping;  
  4. Rolling out a more localised Plan A – remaining In-Touch with the communities where M&S customers and employees live; 
  5. Working with others to build a sustainable global economy – M&S will continue to make a significant contribution through the Consumer Goods Forum and the World Economic Forum. 


For the full report please visit – www.marksandspencer.com/corporate.


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Further information


Corporate media enquiries – 

Daniel Himsworth, Marks & Spencer Press Office, 0208 718 1618