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 and the way they’re used. Every year we sell around three billion items to tens of millions of customers in the UK and overseas. These customers expect us to make a simple brand promise to them – that we’ll strive in everything we do and every product we sell to offer the most sustainable option possible.
Our supply chain is diverse, long and complex. Social and environmental impacts happen at every stage of every product’s lifecycle and in truth, there is currently no single universally accepted definition of what a sustainable product actually is.
Faced with these challenges, we’re developing a robust, credible approach that will enable us to take action to make our products more sustainable.
Commitments and targets
We want to lead our sector in terms of sustainable consumption and production – offering our customers good value, high-quality products and services.
We’ll produce our products with integrity, ensuring that by 2020, every M&S product we sell has a Plan A best practice social or environmental attribute. In 2017, we extended this commitment so that by 2025 every one of our products will have Plan A attribute that address every single one of its material social and environmental impacts. For example, covering the key raw materials, factory, use and disposal stages in a product's lifecycle.
We want every one of the three billion M&S products we sell every year to be well on the path to being truly sustainable by 2025. By Plan A attribute we mean a quality or feature in a product, or part of it, that has a demonstrable positive or significantly lower environmental and/or social impact during its sourcing, production, supply, use and disposal.
The diagram and table below show how we identify and measure Plan A product attributes.