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Marks & Spencer Plan A shows strong progress
08
Jun '13
Marks & Spencer (M&S) today publishes its latest Plan A Report which shows progress against the programme’s 180 sustainability commitments, including its stretching 2015 targets.
 
139 of the 180 commitments have been achieved with a further 31 ‘on plan’ to be achieved. The original, iconic Plan A commitments – being carbon neutraland sending no waste to landfill– have been maintained and improved as part of a business as usual approach with further reductions in carbon emissions (down by 23 percent) and waste (down by 28 percent).  
 
Last year Plan A delivered £135 million in net benefits to re-invest in the M&S business. 1,100 people from disadvantaged parts of the community were helped through business work experience placements in M&S stores. Over half went on to find full time employment. 
 
Marc Bolland, CEO of M&S said: “We can be very proud of what M&S has achieved through Plan A over the past six years. It has made our business more sustainable and more engaging for our customers and employees. But we must continue to adapt and step up to the challenge of the world’s climatic and demographic changes. Growing global consumption will continue to put pressure on finite resources, extreme weather is becoming a reality and social pressures, such as youth unemployment, are becoming more acute.
 
“We have moved closer to our vision of M&S as a sustainable international multi-channel retailer, but we know that we still have a long way to go to make this a reality. Through Plan A we will continue to push the business case for social and environmental responsibility, develop new alliances and learn from others.”
 
The future of Plan A will be high on the agenda at next week’s Plan A Conference. 1,200 delegates, including key M&S suppliers, are expected at Wembley Stadium’s Conference Centre where Marc Bolland will share a stage with former US Vice President and environmental campaigner Al Gorein what will be one the UK’s biggest ever sustainability conferences. Topics under discussion will include circular economy business models, tackling social issues such as youth unemployment, supply chain transparency and how to bring the latest eco innovations into large scale business operations.
 
Plan A progress against stretching 2015 targets
 
Target – 50 per cent of M&S products to have Plan A quality
45 per cent of M&S products now have a Plan A quality – that’s over a billion products sold in the last 12 months with an eco or ethical quality such as being Fairtrade, carbon neutral, made from sustainable materials or delivering health benefits to the consumer.  

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