M&S invites 14m customers to join sustainability challenge

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// The two-month Sparking Change challenge will support customers with a range of resources
// The initiative is part of M&S’ ongoing commitment to become fully net zero by 2040

Marks and Spencer has invited its 14 million Sparks customers to try a lower carbon diet, feel healthier and save money, while living more sustainably.

During the two-month Sparking Change challenge, which is available through M&S’s loyalty reward scheme, customers will be supported with a range of resources designed to help them make healthy, more sustainable meals from scratch.

Sparks customers will also receive discounts on M&S’ award-winning meat-free Plant Kitchen range, as M&S joins forces with Meat-Free Monday to encourage families to go plant-based for one day a week throughout January.

February’s challenge will focus on More Taste, Less Waste, helping customers reduce food waste and save up to £20 on their weekly shop in the process.

The most recent M&S Family Matters Report highlighted that the environment is a growing concern for two-thirds of families in the UK. Almost half believe that we should be eating less meat, while well over a third say they’ve already made changes to the food they buy.

To respond to customers’ growing sustainability concerns, M&S partnered with award-winning environmental charity, Hubbub, to create a nine-week pilot, grounded in behaviour change theory.

The Sparking Change pilot focused on four areas – plant-based food, cutting food waste, cooking from scratch and sustainable living.

Read more: M&S signs new £850m loan linked to Plan A net zero targets

After three months, participants reported lasting impacts, with 90% eating less meat and wasting less food, 75% eating more seasonal produce, 73% cooking from scratch more often and 70% feeling healthier overall.

Just under 40% also reported saving money, an average of £22 per week.

“Eating more sustainably needn’t be complicated or expensive,” said M&S nutritionist Sophia Linn. “Our Sparking Change Challenge is designed to help customers make small changes that can easily be incorporated into their day to day lives and make it stick for the long term.”

Senior creative partner at Hubbub, Mark Breen added: “The lasting impact for families who have already taken part in Sparking Change has been incredible. Reducing food waste and eating less meat and more plant-based foods are two of the simplest ways we can all do our bit to help the environment.”

M&S recently reset Plan A, its sustainability programme, to focus on becoming a fully net zero business by 2040. The Sparking Change challenge is part of its ongoing commitment to invest in products and services that help customers enjoy lower carbon lives.

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