About "Plan A"
- We launched our "Plan A" project in January 2007, setting out 100 commitments to achieve over 5 years.
- In 2010, we extended "Plan A" to include 180 commitments, with the ultimate goal of becoming the world's most sustainable major retailer by 2015.
- We are doing it because it's what you expect of us.It's also the right thing to do. We call it "Plan A" because we're convinced it's now the only way to do business and that there is no Plan B for our planet.
What we're doing.
"Plan A" is divided into seven key areas that we believe represent the most important challenges we face as a retailer. These points are:
- Climate change
We intend to reduce our own emissions by 35% and achieve carbon neutral status by 2012. Through our projects to reduce CO2, we're discovering ways to help our customers and suppliers reduce their own carbon footprints.
By 2012, the waste that we generate from operations and manufacturing will not be sent to landfill and we will reduce it by 25% and 50% respectively. Together with our charity partners, we've launched an initiative to significantly increase the recycling of coat hangers and clothes.
- Natural resources
We are at the forefront of sustainable cotton production and are the world's largest retailer of fair trade cotton. We are committed to procuring our fish, palm oil and wood from sustainable sources and will continue to minimise the environmental impact of products such as beef, soya and leather.
- Fair partners
We strive to ensure good working conditions and fair wages for all our suppliers. Our ethical model factory programme now covers 15 establishments and we will ensure that by 2015, our garment suppliers are able to offer their employees a decent wage. Our "Milk Pledge" rewards farmers for achieving high standards in animal welfare and production processes.
- Health and well-being
Our health and well-being campaign lets our customers make healthier choices thanks to the products themselves, clear nutritional labelling and information, in addition to product ranges specifically designed to promote healthy eating.
- Involving our customers in "Plan A"
Through initiatives ranging from wardrobe clear-outs to the "Big Butterfly Count", beach clean-ups and the World's Biggest Coffee Morning, we're working with our charity partners to create exciting and engaging campaigns that actively involve our customers in our sustainable quest.
- Making "Plan A" the way we do business
We recognise the need to incorporate "Plan A" into everything we do and we work hard every day to integrate the notion of sustainability into our activities and processes
Our progress thus far...
These are just some of our achievements
- Since 2006/07, we've reduced our carbon footprint by 25% per square foot in our stores by investing in new technologies and training our staff to make our stores and lorries more energy-efficient.
- We've recently launched a new partnership with UNICEF which aims to raise EUR 2.1M over the next three years to help transform the lives of the world's poorest children. To succeed in this aim, we're asking our customers not to take coat hangers when they buy clothing, and we'll give half of the savings made on recycling coat hangers to UNICEF, the major worldwide organisation for children's welfare.
- The Marks & Spencer and Oxfam clothes exchange programme was initiated in 2008 and encourages customers to donate items they no longer want and in return receive a EUR 7 Marks & Spencer discount voucher as a thank you. Our customers donated more than 3 million items last year as part of this recycling programme, enabling Oxfam to invest EUR 3.7M in projects around the globe.
- Since 2006/07, we've achieved an average 26% reduction in non-glass packaging. We've also worked hard to ensure that our packaging can be easily recycled or composted.
- Reducing our waste and our carbon footprint are key objectives for Marks & Spencer and we're doing well. Since 2006/07, we've reduced our waste by a third and we now recycle 94% of it. We've also reduced our CO2 emissions by 25% per square foot in our stores
- We recently launched "Forever Fish", a major campaign to help protect and safeguard our precious aquatic environment, oceans and beaches. Marks & Spencer has operated a sustainable fishing policy for the last 12 years and 84% of fish sold by Marks & Spencer is now independently certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or undergoing MSC assessment. But we want to take it further – and that's where "Forever Fish" comes into the equation. Through a partnership with the WWF and the Marine Conservation Society, a primary school education programme and our "fish of the month" promotions, we're looking ahead to ensure that our fish species are protected for future generations to enjoy.
- Marks & Spencer Ireland won the "Overall Achievement in CSR" award at the 2014 Chambers Ireland Corporate Social Responsibility Awards. The awards were established in 2004 to recognise the work being carried out by Irish and multinational companies to improve the lives of their employees and to enhance the civic environment in which they operate. By aligning social and environmental outcomes with its business goals, M&S believes it can deliver greater value for all and achieve its goal of becoming the world’s most sustainable major retailer.
We are getting closer to becoming the world's most responsible retailer!
1 square foot2 = 0.09290304 m2
www.marksandspencer.com/PlanA - This link will take you to the page on the Marks & Spencer UK website which sets out the 180 commitments in our 5-year plan, and tells you everything you need to know about "Plan A". This link is to the UK website which is, of course, in English.