Marks & Spencer reports more good progress on Plan A, its eco and ethical programme, in its 2016 Plan A Report. A further 22 commitments were achieved in 2015/16 and good progress was made in engaging its 32 million customers in Plan A.
Food waste reduced by 9% per 1,000 sq ft of food selling space, achieved through improved systems leading to better sales estimation and the nationwide roll out of an unsold food redistribution scheme with social network Neighbourly.com.
The scheme has seen M&S owned stores work with 500 charities such as food banks and community cafes.
“We know that Plan A is a win-win approach – a simpler, more efficient, less wasteful business is better for the planet and our bottom line – so we’ll chase that even harder”
Other highlights from the new report include nearly three quarters (73%) of all M&S products now have an eco or ethical quality (up from 64% last year) notable progress on improving UK and Ireland store and warehouse energy efficiency (energy use down 39%) and water efficiency (water use down 31%) and several firsts including the launch of an interactive supply chain map and the publication of the M&S Human Rights report.
Steve Rowe, Marks & Spencer’s Chief Executive said: “We are putting customers right at the heart of our business. That includes Plan A as much as any other part of our business and that’s why Plan A is now part of our customer and marketing team.
“It is a crucial part of how we engage with our customers, gain their trust and make every moment special for them. We know that Plan A is a win-win approach – a simpler, more efficient, less wasteful business is better for the planet and our bottom line – so we’ll chase that even harder.”
Plastic microbeads removed to help protect marine life
Plastic microbeads from wash-off personal care products were removed in April 2015, almost a year ahead of the 2016 Plan A target. Plastic microbeads are harmful to marine life and end up in our oceans when washed into the water system.
Clothing and food suppliers detailed on interactive supply chain map
Customers and stakeholders can now see where M&S clothing and home products are made and food products are produced on the M&S supply chain interactive map. 690 clothing and home and 540 Food suppliers are listed.
Only certified sustainable palm oil used in M&S products
All palm oil used in M&S products in 2015/16 was Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certified. 99% was a mix of segregated and mass balance (last year 82%), with the remaining one per cent covered by the purchase of GreenPalm certificates to encourage the transition to sustainable supplies (last year 18%).
Nearly three quarters of M&S products have an eco or ethical quality
73% of M&S products sold (based on volume) had at least one Plan A quality above and beyond the market norm in 2015/16 (64% in 2014/15). Examples include the UNICEF shopping bag made from up-cycled hotel linen, the Limited London clothing collection made from sustainable fabrics in eco factories and the launch of Active Health – cholesterol lowering prepared meals.
90% of Sparks card holders have chosen a charity to support and donations set to pass £1 million mark
90% of customers that hold a Sparks membership card have chosen one of nine charities to support. M&S donates a penny to the customer’s chosen charity every time they shop at M&S and donations are set to pass the £1 million mark next week (week commencing 13th June). Charities benefitting include Macmillan Cancer Support, Great Ormond Street and Shelter.
Store and warehouse energy use down 39%, water use down 31%
Total energy use across UK and Ireland stores, warehouses and offices was down 39% and water use was down 31% (both figures against a 2006/07 baseline) as continued investment in technology and people engagement paid dividend.
First M&S Human Rights Report published
In recognition of the growing, global focus on Human Rights and the role business plays in protecting them, M&S has joined the UN Global Compact and today published its first ever Human Rights Report. The report outlines M&S’ approach to respecting human rights both within its own business operations and throughout its supply chain.
Mike Barry, Director of Sustainable Business at Marks & Spencer, said: “2015 was an important year for sustainable business and Plan A. Yet again we’ve achieved tough and stretching targets. The successful Paris Climate negotiations and the launch of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals have created a long-term direction of travel for the global economy and companies need a bold vision and comprehensive plan to make sure they are aligned with these important agreements.
“Under Steve’s leadership we’ll continue to play our part and crucially put the customer at the heart of everything we do, nurturing the strong trust they have in us and inspiring them with new and innovative solutions to more sustainable living that feels personal and local to them.”