Marks & Spencer launches plan to strengthen ethical commitments



M&S has published its Plan A 2020, a series of recommendations to increase sustainability in stores and renew ethical commitments on the retailer’s operations.

The business plan sets out 100 commitments, including rising green energy targets, increasing sustainable sourcing, strengthening employability and charity programmes and making its operations worldwide carbon neutral.

Marc Bolland, chief executive of M&S, said, “Plan A is at the heart of our plans to become a sustainable, international, multi-channel retailer. It’s become a vital part of how we run our business and represents a better way of working that materially improves our customers’ and partners’ experience of M&S.

“Once again we have made 100 commitments comprising of existing, revised and new targets with our sights set on significant progress in the next few years.”

The plan lies on four pillars: inspire customers and business to switch to a more sustainable lifestyle, improve employment opportunities, ethical integrity of food and other products and innovation for the future.

Mike Barry, director of the plan, added, “Plan A 2020 is a sustainable business plan focused on customer, employee and supplier engagement. We’ve formally included our international operations in Plan A for the first time and put Plan A at the heart of our business principles.

“By aligning social and environmental outcomes with our business goals in this way, we believe we can deliver greater value for all and achieve our goal of becoming the world’s most sustainable major retailer.

In March, M&S was included in the World’s Most Ethical (WME) companies list, by the Ethisphere Institute thinktank, thanks to its ethical standards and practices. The retailer was also named as one of the most sought after employers in the UK.

Further reading:

M&S sees profits fall for third consecutive year

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

Unilever, John Lewis and M&S in top 10 most sought-after employers

M&S becomes carbon neutral and saves millions

Creating a sustainable shopping culture: interview with M&S


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