M&S Plan A goes global

Marks and Spencer has set out a six-year plan to spread its green business practices to some of its international stores. It announced all stores in the 19 international markets […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Marks and Spencer has set out a six-year plan to spread its green business practices to some of its international stores.

It announced all stores in the 19 international markets it fully owns and operates (out of 53 markets it sells in) are carbon neutral.

This includes its French store, M&S Beaugrenelle (pictured, above) but not its giant, bulbous Kuwait department (below) which is a franchise.

The retailer which was at the front of the pack for sustainability in Britain when it launched its Plan A in 2007 has created another, Plan A 2020.

It has 100 commitments such as boosting an energy efficiency target from 35% to 50% per sq ft of its buildings in the UK and Republic of Ireland by 2020. Currently the brand is doing 32% better than the 2007 benchmark.

Marks & Spencer Kuwait 350 197
M&S Kuwait isn’t included because it is a franchise. Image: M&S

It also pledges to get half of its cotton from sustainable sources and 75% of all M&S food from “eco and ethical benchmarked” factories.

A spokesperson told ELN: “It doesn’t matter if a cotton t-shirt is sold in Shanghai or sold in Slough.”

Energy and carbon in numbers

Worldwide, the new Plan A report reveals the business’ gross global CO2 emissions for this year were 566,000 tonnes.

Its UK and Republic of Ireland operations emitted 533,000 tonnes, down 24% on a 2006/07 baseline.

The supermarket put this mainly down to more efficient electricity use, reduced gas leaks from refrigeration and better waste recycling levels.

Refrigeration and air-conditioning emissions were down by 68% at 41,000 tonnes against 2006/07.

A new large General Merchandise warehouse helped it boost warehouse energy efficiency in the UK and RoI by nearly two-thirds to 16.6 kWh per sq ft, compared with 26.4 kWh per sq ft in 2006/07.