08 June 2007 | Antony Barton
Marks & Spencer is making further moves to reduce its carbon footprint by working with suppliers to lesson their impact.
The retail chain said from next year it will look at cutting its carbon footprint in stores in the Republic of Ireland, dedicated warehouses and in the area of business travel. This accounts for 400,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, but this figure rises to six million when the manufacturing, use and disposal of products is included.
In its fourth annual report on the social, environmental and ethical performance of M&S, entitled How we do business 2007, the company says actions it will take to reduce emissions include sourcing as much food as possible from the UK and Republic of Ireland; helping suppliers improve the efficiency of deliveries to distribution centres, including increasing the use of rail transport; and working with the Carbon Trust to identify "hot spots" in the supply chain, with subsequent targets to reduce emissions.
M&S will help customers address climate change by selling products with a lower carbon impact; labelling all air freighted products within 12 months; and launching campaigns to help customers understand their carbon footprint and how to reduce it.
The company says it has reduced its UK carbon footprint by 28 per cent compared with last year, equating to 100,000 tonnes of CO2. It launched its five-year £200 million Plan A programme in January to improve the "green" performance of its suppliers.