Marks & Spencer turns to biogas to cut carbon emissions

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Retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) has announced plans to buy 35,000 mega-2att (MW) hours of biomethane certificates, as part of its efforts to reduce its environmental footprint and promote clean energy.

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M&S will purchase the gas – obtained through anaerobic digestion – from company Future Biogas. The move will save 6,400 tonnes of carbon emissions according to the company and will generate enough energy to heat 15 M&S Simply Food stores over a whole year.

Gio Patellaro, M&S head of energy supply & risk, said, Over the past couple of years, M&S has worked tirelessly to improve its carbon efficiency and innovate in sustainability. As the first UK retailer to buy biomethane to use in this way, we are blazing a trail in the market place that we hope others will follow.

“With the help of Future Biogas, this deal takes us one step further in our commitment to ensure 50% of the energy used in M&S buildings comes from certified green biomethane sources by 2020.”

Philipp Lukas, Future Biogas managing director, added, We are thrilled to be working with Marks & Spencer on this exciting and new venture. We look forward to supplying biomethane to M&S to help them deliver their market leading commitment to carbon reduction.

The announcement follows the unveiling of the Plan A 2020, in which the retailer outlines a series of commitments to strengthen sustainability measures by 2020, such as rising green energy targets, increasing sustainable sourcing and strengthening charity programmes.

M&S was among four UK firms named on the annual World’s Most Ethical (WME) companies list in March.

Photo: TShops via wikimedia commons

Further reading:

M&S chief: some investors ‘highly engaged’ on sustainability but most are not

M&S among four UK firms named on world’s ‘most ethical’ companies list

M&S becomes carbon neutral and saves millions

Marks & Spencer launches plan to strengthen ethical commitments

Guide to Sustainable Spending 2013