High street retailer Marks and Spencer (M&S) has been named Responsible Business of the Year at the Business in the Community (BITC)’s Awards for Excellence, it has been announced today.
Set up fifteen years ago to recognise the positive societal role of UK businesses, the award honours the company that has made the most progress in putting responsible and sustainable practices at the core of its strategy.
M&S’s corporate responsibility programme ‘Plan A’, launched in 2007, is an eco and ethical programme aimed at making the company the world’s most sustainable major retailer by 2015.
Earlier this month, Plan A ambassador Joanna Lumley hailed its recent ‘schwopping’ campaign – which seeks to put an end to consumers throwing away copious amounts of unwanted clothing – a success as over half a million items were exchanged by shoppers within six weeks.
Speaking at the time, Lumley explained the reasoning behind the initiative, commenting: “We’re determined to give every item of clothing a future and help some of the world’s poorest people in the process.”
BITC, a business-led charity with over 850 company members, acknowledged Plan A’s 180 commitments, including its Forever Fish campaign and a number of ‘Ethical Excellence’ factories, and were impressed with M&S’s commitment to improving consumer awareness of environmental issues.
Marc Bolland, CEO at M&S, accepted the award from the BITC President HRH The Prince of Wales last night.
Bolland said: “We’re delighted with the award, it’s a fantastic achievement that’s only been made possible by the commitment of our employees and the great support our customers have shown in backing initiatives like Shwopping.”