M&S aims to be fully net zero on emissions by 2040

M&S announces new carbon emission targets with Plan A revamp
The retailer has introduced three key colleague initiatives to help it reach its 2040 target.
// M&S is resetting its Plan A with pledge to cut its carbon footprint by a third by 2025
// The target would see the retailer hit full net zero 10 years ahead of the government’s national strategy

Marks & Spencer has pledged to become fully net zero in carbon emissions across its own operations, its entire supply chain and its products by 2040, ten years ahead of a government target for Britain.

The retailer has reset its Plan A sustainability programme and alongside the new roadmap, is reviving its “Look behind the label” campaign which it initially launched in 2006.

The campaign will bring to life the action M&S is taking to make its business more sustainable.


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Its return is a response to the customer insight that many feel climate action can seem overwhelming and the refreshed activity will focus on the stories behind five everyday products.

M&S has set out a detailed route to how it will become a net-zero Scope 3 business across its entire supply chain and products, using scientific targets aligned to the UN ambition of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees celsius.

Having become carbon neutral in 2012, the next target is to cut its carbon footprint by a third by 2025, from a 5.7 million tonnes 2017 baseline. If it reaches this ambitious target, the retailer would be 10 years ahead of the government’s UK-wide strategy.

The retailer has introduced three key colleague initiatives to help it reach its 2040 target.

It has selected 100 staff as “carbon champions” across key roles in buying, sourcing and operations to drive net-zero delivery.

It will also be developing a programme of learning to grow carbon literacy and equip colleagues with the understanding to identify carbon-related risks and opportunities.

Lastly, it has created an online “Green Network” to encourage employees to share ideas, inspiration and innovation.

The retailer’s chief executive Steve Rowe has emphasised the need to work alongside M&S’s supplier partners to find new and better ways of doing things, as 97 per cent of its Scope 3 emissions come from the supply chain.

The retailer has introduced three key colleague initiatives to help it reach its 2040 target. First, it has selected 100 staff as “carbon champions” across key roles in buying, sourcing and operations to drive net-zero delivery.

He said: “We launched Plan A 14 years ago because we knew then there was no Plan B for our planet. We now face a climate emergency, and in resetting Plan A with a singular focus, we can drive the delivery of net zero across our entire end-to-end supply chain.

“This won’t be easy. We need to transform how we make, move and sell our products to customers and fundamentally change the future shape of our business.

“This is not a far-away promise. We must act now to rapidly cut our footprint. To deliver this, we need our colleagues to better understand the carbon impact of our products and processes, we need to back our suppliers to innovate and adapt to the changing environment and we must work together to help customers enjoy lower carbon lives.”

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