M&S launches sustainability plan

05 Jun '17
4 min read

Marks & Spencer has launched a new sustainability plan - Plan A 2025. The programme is an ambitious, customer focused plan that builds on the success of the first 10 years of Plan A. It will support 1,000 communities, help 10 million people live happier, healthier lives and convert M&S and its supply chains and products into a zero-waste business.

The eco and ethical Plan A 2025 is designed to help inspire customers to be the best they can be and play a role in helping society tackle the wellbeing challenge. The three-pillar plan is designed to tackle the big issues facing retailers, consumer businesses and society. It spans customer and colleague wellbeing, transforming lives and communities and caring for the planet.

Each pillar includes pioneering new commitments, such as making all M&S packaging ‘widely recyclable’, raising £25 million for charities tackling cancer, heart disease, mental health problems, loneliness and dementia by 2025, at least half of food sales to come from healthier products by 2022, colleagues completing one million hours of work-time community volunteering, all key raw materials M&S uses coming from sustainable sources, a new 10 community pilot that will see M&S work with local councils and charity partners to support communities to deliver positive, measurable change, the results of which will be rolled out to 100 locations.

By 2025, 20 per cent of all M&S clothing will have a Plan A health or wellbeing attribute and by 2019 M&S will incentivise and reward customers for making healthy choices. By the end of 2018 all single portion snacks, confectionery and ice cream will be less than 250 calories, the company says.

Steve Rowe, chief executive of Marks & Spencer’s said: “Marks & Spencer has been at the forefront of social change for 133 years and we’re determined to play a leading role in the years ahead. Plan A 2025 will help us build a sustainable future by helping our customers live healthier lives, supporting the communities they live in and we source from and looking after the planet we all share. We believe we can engage all of our 32 million customers, 85,000 colleagues and 200,000 shareholders in the plan that becomes a mass voice for sustainable change.”

Jonathon Porritt, chair of the Plan A advisory board, said: “It’s so important that M&S, one of the world’s most trusted and well-loved companies, keeps raising the bar on what it means to be a sustainable retailer. On all the big challenges - supply chain, climate, food waste, living wage, human rights, packaging, community investment and so on - the pressure is intensifying and expectations rising. It’s great to see M&S leading the way here.”

Plan A 2025 aims to help play a transformative role in communities by enabling local economies to thrive, helping to build socially connected communities and improving local environments by new commitments, including by 2020, in 10 locations M&S will complete programmes that aim to secure meaningful economic, social and environmental benefits in the communities around M&S stores and beyond, and space will be available for community use in 50 per cent of clothing, home and food stores by 2025.

M&S will also enter into a new collaboration with Oxfam over three years focusing on the UK and India to develop a deeper understanding of the connection between sourcing practices and human rights impacts. Oxfam will report the findings independently, whilst M&S will develop a programme of actions and report annually on progress from 2018.

Plan A has helped make substantial improvements to M&S’ environmental footprint. Plan A 2025 will see that M&S makes its entire business model zero waste - not just its own operations but also its supply chains and products. (SV)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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