Sustainable supply chain recognition for M&S

7 July 2011

7 July 2011 | Adam Leach

Marks &Spencer (M&S) has received an award for its collaborative efforts to increase sustainability in its supply chain.

The retailer picked up the Anglo American Responsible Supply Chain Award at this week’s Business in the Community Awards 2011, and was named as an “example of excellence” for business.

The company was rewarded for holding 20 separate supplier conferences during 2010, attended by more than 2,900 suppliers. These events were established to increase collaboration between the business and its suppliers, and boost efficiency and responsibility.

Other initiatives carried out by the company last year included quarterly meetings to share best practice across the supply base, and free support from M&S teams to help vendors increase sustainability.

Chair of this year’s judges and group head of supply chain at Anglo American, Andrew Hinkly, said: “Marks & Spencer’s developmental approach sets a new standard for ethics and sustainability in high street retail. By helping suppliers to understand the business case for acting responsibly, and giving them the tools and support to do so, it is helping to improve the lives of many thousands of workers across its supply chains. We were particularly impressed by the company’s willingness to collaborate and share its work with other brands.”

Highly commended in the same category was Panama hat manufacturer Pachacuti. The company established a sustainable fair trade management system, to make sure all suppliers meet performance criteria.

Business in the Community is a business charity with more than 850 member companies, which supports work on corporate responsibility. The first stage of the awards process is the Big Tick, which recognises firms that have “demonstrated the positive impact of responsible business”. The best of these are then examined by the judges to determine the “examples of excellence”.

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