MARKS & SPENCER LAUNCHES ''PLAN A''- £200M 'ECO-PLAN'
Marks & Spencer announces "Plan A", a business-wide £200m "eco-plan" which will have an impact on every part of M&S' operations over the next five years. The 100-point plan means that by 2012 M&S will:
M&S Chief Executive, Stuart Rose said:
"Every business and individual needs to do their bit to tackle the enormous challenges of climate change and waste. While M&S will continue to sell great quality, stylish and innovative products, our customers, employees and shareholders now expect us to take bold steps and do business differently and responsibly. We believe a responsible business can be a profitable business. We are calling this "Plan A" because there is no 'plan B'.
"M&S will change beyond recognition the way it operates over the next five years. We will become carbon neutral, only using offsetting as a last resort; we will ensure that none of our clothing or packaging needs to be thrown away; much of our polyester clothing will be made from recycled plastic bottles instead of oil and every year we will sell over 20 million garments made from Fairtrade cotton.
"We will clearly label the food we import by air; UK, regional and local food sourcing will be a priority and we will trial the use of food waste to power our stores. We will do this without passing on the extra cost to our customers."
"We will also help our suppliers and customers to change their behaviour. Because we are own-brand our influence extends to over 2,000 factories, 10,000 farms and 250,000 workers, as well as millions of customers visiting over 500 stores in the UK."
"This is a deliberately ambitious and, in some areas, difficult plan. We don't have all the answers but we are determined to work with our suppliers, partners and Government to make this happen. Doing anything less is not an option."
Jonathon Porritt, Founder Director of Forum for the Future, who has advised M&S on "Plan A", said:
"This plan sets a new benchmark in the way businesses should be tackling critical sustainability challenges like waste, fairtrade and climate change. It raises the bar for everyone else - not just retailers, but businesses in every sector. We all know that even at the end of these 5 years there will still be a huge amount for M&S to do but we warmly welcome the scale of the ambition of this plan in particular the commitment to include customers and suppliers."
Blake Lee-Harwood, Campaign Director, Greenpeace UK said:
"We're glad a company like M&S has proposals that begin to match the scale of the challenge of climate change and protecting our oceans and forests. If every retailer in Britain followed Marks & Spencer's lead it would be a major step forward in meeting the challenge of creating a sustainable society."
Robert Napier, Chief Executive, WWF-UK said:
"Research clearly shows us that agricultural activities and other food production and distribution have some of the greatest impacts upon our environment. It is vital that we all find ways to achieve a One Planet lifestyle. Such bold aspirations as outlined by Marks & Spencer can only help drive other supermarkets and the retail sector towards supplying products in a way that protects our planet and sustains the natural resources we depend upon."
The 100-point Plan A includes commitments in five areas:
1. CLIMATE CHANGE - making our operations in UK and Republic of Ireland carbon neutral. We will minimise energy use, maximise the use of renewables and use offsetting as a last resort. This will be equivalent to taking 100,000 cars off the road each year and will mean we meet the challenge set by the Stern Review of reducing CO2 emissions by 80%, nearly 40 years ahead of target. As a significant amount of emissions come from our suppliers and customers making and using our products, we will also mobilise them to reduce their carbon footprint. Our commitment includes:
2. WASTE - stop sending waste to landfill from our stores, offices and warehouses, reduce our use of packaging and carrier bags, and find new ways to recycle and reuse the materials we use. Our commitment includes:
3. RAW MATERIALS - ensuring that our key raw materials come from the most sustainable source possible, in order to protect the environment and the world's natural resources. Our commitment includes:
4. FAIR PARTNER - improving the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in our supply chain and our local communities. Our commitment includes:
5. HEALTHY EATING - helping thousands of customers and employees choose a healthier lifestyle. We will build on the work we have already done, removing HVOs from all our food and removing artificial colours, flavours and all unnecessary preservatives from all fresh prepared food. We are also introducing Food Standards Agency Traffic Lights and Guideline Daily Allowance (GDA) product labelling. Our commitments include:
For further information:
Clare Wilkes Marks & Spencer 0208 718 8642 / 07831 829891
Clair Foster Marks & Spencer 0208 718 8323 / 07748 147851
Olivia Ross Marks & Spencer 0208 718 1618/07795 968 641