UK highstreet store Marks and Spencer says it is on course to become the world’s most sustainable major retailer by 2015.
According to the company’s half-year results, it will meet half of its 180 sustainability targets by next April – well ahead of schedule.
As part of Plan A, which chair and former chief executive Sir Stuart Rose launched three years ago, Marks and Spencer has introduced 399 aerodynamic ‘teardrop’ trailers that improve fuel efficiency by 10% and carry 10% more stock. That move alone has reduced the company’s carbon footprint by 2300 tonnes a year.
Meanwhile, 25 stores now use environmentally friendly CO2 refrigeration systems with a further 175 stores converted to use a cleaner HFC gas.
Marks and Spencer has also issued its 35,000 staff with energy monitors to help reduce their energy use at home as well.
The company is also making progress towards its target of increasing recycling of operational waste, which now stands at 92%, to 100% with no waste going to landfill by 2012.
New chief executive Marc Bolland says that Plan A is a now integral part of the business, at the heart of the M&S brand. What is likely to guarantee that it stays there is that it is now generating revenue for the brand.
“By making Plan A profitable, we’ve proved that doing the right thing can be good for business as well as being good for the environment, suppliers, employees and customers,” says Rose. “Plan A has come a very long way, but the challenges we face in moving towards becoming a sustainable business remain enormous.”
For further information:
M&S and British Gas join UK solar gold rush (3-Sept)
UK retailer M&S increases energy efficiency 19% (11-Jun)
M&S reports good progress on ‘Plan A’ (11-Jun 2008)
22 November 2010