M&S steps up drive for sustainability

MARKS & Spencer yesterday unveiled plans to ramp up its eco-credentials by opting for more sustainable ingredients and agreeing a living wage for suppliers in its bid to become the world’s most sustainable retailer by 2015.

M&S said its new plan would extend green targets introduced by the company in 2007, helping to make the company more efficient, develop new markets and build customer loyalty.

“It’s therefore not just the right thing to do morally but also makes strong commercial sense,” said chairman Sir Stuart Rose.

“Since we launched our eco plan, Plan A, we’ve reduced our environmental impact, developed new sustainable products and services, helped improve the lives of people in our local communities and saved around £50m by being more efficient.”

M&S said its new commitments would include making sure all 2.7 billion food, clothing and home items carried at least one sustainable or ethical quality such as being fair-trade or free range. It will also seek to determine and agree a fair, living wage for workers in such markets as Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India.