Marks & Spencer aims to become the world’s most sustainable retailer with Plan A, its eco and ethical programme, being at the very heart of how it does business. 45% of the company’s products now have a Plan A quality – such as being fairtrade, organic or made from recycled material. Marks & Spencer’s target is to have 50% of attributed products by 2015 and 100% by 2020.
Marks & Spencer sends zero waste to landfill, working across the food supply chain to reduce waste food and cut construction waste. It is also reusing and refurbishing shopfit equipment in its stores. In clothing, the company is moving to a circular model.
The company is inspiring customers to ensure no clothing goes to landfill by making it easier to take back used clothing. The Shwopping scheme encourages customers to donate unwanted clothing to Oxfam to be resold, reused or recycled. Within research and development,
it is looking at a number of technologies and innovations to maximise the value of clothing.
To reduce the environmental impact of raw materials in the company’s supply chain as per the company’s Plan A commitments.
Marks & Spencer is seeking to develop pathways to transform its current linear business and operational model to one that is circular. The company has already seen how this can work for consumables, such as plastic packaging, and now it aims to apply that thinking to all areas of the business.
It is currently working on a detailed review for circular economy opportunities across all parts of the the company’s business: food, construction and operations, and clothing.
A particular focus for Marks & Spencer is to identify and deliver competitive advantage from a circular economy. In its view this is the best way for business to drive maximum positive environmental impact. It is also very focused on working with other businesses and organisations to change the wider system (policy, infrastructure, business norms etc) so that it can accelerate moves to a circular economy.