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At M&S, caring about the impact we have on the world around us is part of who we are.  

We launched Plan A, our sustainability action plan, in 2007 – because we knew there is no Plan B when it comes to our planet.  

But we know we need to do more.  

Our customers, our colleagues, our suppliers, and our shareholders all want to know that we are doing the right thing for our planet.  

The climate emergency has accelerated rapidly since we launched Plan A more than fourteen years ago. To face that emergency head on, we are putting building a more sustainable business at the heart of our core strategy to ensure that the planet – and M&S – are in a better shape for the future.  

Resetting Plan A

That’s why we have reset Plan A on our mission to become a net zero business across our entire value chain by 2040. Net zero means simply that we don’t add any more greenhouse emissions to the atmosphere than we take out of it.  

Our ambition is to become net zero across Scope 1 and 2 emissions – our own operations – by 2035. This encompasses carbon emissions from our stores, our transport network, and our logistics.  

However, Scope 1 and 2 emissions are only part of the picture. Our biggest carbon impact – in fact more than 97% – comes from Scope 3 emissions, or in other words, emissions from how our suppliers source and make our fantastic products, as well as how our customers use them. 

To find out more about our journey to net zero, watch the animation 

As an own-brand retailer, we are uniquely positioned to work with our trusted suppliers to reduce Scope 3 emissions. One of our biggest strengths is the close and long-lasting relationships we’ve built with our partners, from farms to factories.  

We’ve set more ambitious science-based targets that will help us play our part in keeping global warming below the all-important benchmark of 1.5 degrees.  

We have identified ten key areas of our business where we will focus our transformation work as part of our action plan to reach net zero emissions by 2040.  

Working together  

Reaching net zero is not something we can do alone.  

The achievements of Plan A to date are thanks to the efforts of our colleagues, who we know are passionate about building a sustainable future. Our Carbon Champions will help activate our net zero transformation across different areas of our business. We have also established a Green network, giving our colleagues space for discussion, engagement and learning on climate change.  

And we can’t do it without our customers. We’re asking our customers to look behind the label and discover the sustainability stories behind our products.  

No one business can solve all the sustainability challenges that lie ahead alone, which is why we’re also collaborating and working with key partners across the retail industry. We’re working with The Consumer Goods Forum, the British Retail Consortium, The Courtauld Commitment 2030, Textiles 2030, and the National Farmer’s Union. M&S is a member of the Business Ambition for 1.5°C and part of the Race to Zero campaign 

Our Journey So Far

The scale of the climate change challenge can seem daunting, but we know a better future is possible because we’ve already made change happen. We became the first major retailer to banish free plastic bags in 2008 and launched the first clothing recycling scheme the same year. In 2012, we became the first major retailer in the UK and ROI to achieve carbon neutral status.  

By working together and learning from others, we know we can make net zero reality.  

Because there is no plan B.