M&S first retailer to go carbon neutral

Marks & Spencer says it is the first retailer in the UK to achieve the holy grail of carbon cutting – it has become carbon neutral. A report from the […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Marks & Spencer says it is the first retailer in the UK to achieve the holy grail of carbon cutting – it has become carbon neutral.

A report from the British high-street brand shows all operated stores, offices, warehouses and delivery fleets in the UK and Ireland have been certified as being carbon neutral.

This means the retailer has been removing as much carbon emissions from the atmosphere as it puts in by improving its energy efficiency and buying carbon offsets.

The news sees the retailer hit some of its targets in its much-publicised ‘Plan A’ commitments, which it introduced five years ago to address social and environmental issues such as energy saving, carbon emissions and waste management.

M&S now recycles 100% of its waste, according to its  2012 How We Do Business Report, which charts the five years progress of the ‘Plan A’ programme.

However, six of the 180 ‘Plan A’ commitments have not been met and another six are ‘behind plan’. This includes the retailer’s commitment to reduce water usage by 20%, converting 20 million clothing garments to Fairtrade cotton as well as its biodiesel commitments.

Marc Bolland, CEO of the company said: “Moving forward we will continue to engage customers in sustainable consumption, as we have with our Shwopping initiative, the first cradle to cradle clothes retailing business model.”

According to Marks & Spencer, more than five million customers have taken part in ‘Plan A’ activities.