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M&S reports on progress half way through its eco-plan, Plan A

08
Jun '09
Marks & Spencer released its annual 'How We Do Business Report', which documents progress on its five year, 100 point sustainability plan, Plan A. Half way through the plan, 39 of the 100 commitments are already completed. Of these, 24 commitments have been extended to cover even more ambitious targets.

Sir Stuart Rose, Chairman of Marks & Spencer, said:
“We continue to make strong progress on Plan A. The economic downturn has made our targets more challenging but we don't think this is a reason to compromise, or an excuse to not deliver on our commitments.

“Plan A isn't only important to us, it's also significant to our customers. They've told us that despite the impact of the recession our commitment to the environment and trading fairly is still important to them.

“This year marks our 125th anniversary and we have always nurtured the belief that business conducted ethically and responsibly can deliver benefits – it's how we do business. Over the years customers have come to rely on us to do the right thing, a responsibility we don't take lightly. Plan A builds on this heritage and goes back to the belief that being responsible can also be profitable.”

Recent Plan A highlights and achievements include:
• For our 125th anniversary we have set a challenge to all our staff to raise £1.25m in 125 days for local charities.
• Carrier bag reduction - after just 12 months the decision to charge 5p for single use food carrier bags has cut the use of the bags by 83% from 464 million to 77 million bags.
• The £1.2m profit* generated from the charge has gone to the environmental charity Groundwork and is being used to create or improve 'greener living spaces' such as parks, play areas and gardens in neighbourhoods around the UK. So far M&S has funded 46 of Groundwork's projects.
• M&S/Oxfam Clothing Exchange – since launch in January 2008, the Exchange has encouraged over 875 000 M&S customers to donate used clothing to Oxfam, helping raise an extra £1.9 million for their overseas development work and helping to ensure that over 3 million garments that could have otherwise gone to landfill are re-used.
• Fairtrade cotton – over 8 million products have been sold in the last year across womenswear, menswear, kidswear and homeware product ranges.
• Recycled waste plastic – last year we used around 37million two-litre bottles to make polyester, which is used in our homeware and bedding as well as in polyester garments and re-usable shopping bags.

Click here to read more details:

Marks & Spencer


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