Marks & Spencer unveiled a raft of ambitious zero waste and CO2 reduction targets across its business and supply chains with the launch of its new Plan A 2025 sustainability programme today.
Under the plan, M&S is aiming to reduce greenhouse gases from its worldwide operations by 80 per cent by 2030 from 2007 levels, on route to a 90 per cent reduction by 2035. The target has been approved by the Science-Based Targets (SBT) initiative, a global initiative designed to reduce corporate emissions in line with a 2C warming scenario.
The plan also includes a reduction in the retailer’s supply chain emissions of 13.3 million tonnes by 2030.
M&S joins a number of global companies and brands in the SBT initiative, including rival retailer Tesco which last month had its goal of a 60 per cent cut in emissions by 2025 approved.
Elsewhere in the plan, M&S said all of the key raw materials it uses will come from sustainable sources by 2025, including all cotton by 2019.
It also wants to ensure all M&S packaging is classified as ‘widely recyclable’ by 2022, and that at least a quarter of all its clothing and home products are made using 25 per cent recycled material by 2025.
And while the retailer already – as of 2012 – sends zero waste to landfill across its own operations, it is now aiming to expand this to include its entire business model by 2025, including its supply chain and all of its products.
It comes a decade after the retailer launched its first Plan A to improve sustainability across its business, which led to M&S delivering on 296 ethical and environmental commitments and saving £750m through energy efficiency savings, fewer transport miles and reducing packaging.
Mike Barry, director of Plan A at M&S, said the success of the first 10 years of Plan A had given the company the confidence to be more ambitious on sustainability.
“Plan A 2025 is now our plan for a future in which a truly sustainable M&S can, in partnership with our customers and stakeholders, have a positive impact in all we do,” he said. “It will force us to address questions for which we don’t have all the answers to yet and collaborate with others to drive true change across consumer goods industries.”
Jonathon Porritt, chair of the Plan A Advisory Board, added that it is crucial for M&S to keep “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,” said Porritt. “It’s great to see M&S leading the way here.”