10 June 2011 | Angeline Albert
Marks & Spencer made £70 million efficiency
savings last year as a result of its corporate social responsibility strategy
known as ‘Plan A’.
This compares with £50 million
achieved thanks to the scheme in 2009/10.
The UK retailer’s 2011 How We Do Business Report shows that 95 of the 180 commitments made when Plan A started in 2007 have been
achieved and 77 are on target. Of the remainder, seven are behind schedule and
one – a biodiesel carbon emissions target - is on hold.
made by the retail giant last year include reducing carbon emissions by 13 per
cent, improving energy efficiency by 23 per cent, reducing waste by 34 per cent
and cutting packaging by 26 per cent. Initiatives
such as improved energy efficiency in stores and distribution centres saved
£13.5 million last year. Using less fuel saved £2 million and cost reductions
related to packaging totalled £11 million.
M&S aims to make all its UK and Republic of
Ireland operations in its stores, offices, warehouses, business travel and
logistics carbon-neutral by 2012. Carbon emissions dropped by 8 per cent in
2009/10 compared with 2006/07 figures.
The company is working with its logistics suppliers to further reduce emissions in its
supply chain. This includes improving the
efficiency of deliveries to distribution centres by using more rail transport
by 2012. “We’ve set up a team dedicated to helping food
suppliers improve efficiency and reduce costs when they re-tender their
transport contracts. We also delivered nearly 10 million items of general
merchandise directly to our international businesses to reduce unnecessary
label all air freighted food and only use this transport as a last resort. As
well as extending UK growing seasons, we’ve replaced airfreight with sea or
road freight wherever possible,” the report said.
To significantly reduce its CO2 emissions by 2012, the group said
it had mobilised its key suppliers via the ethical supplier exchange database
SEDEX. This enables companies to share ethical data within their supply chains. M&S said it is also helping
suppliers address ‘living’ wage and working hours issues through SEDEX and
collaborative networking. To raise labour standards, around 80,000 hours of supplier training was
provided around the world by M&S in 2010, up from 21,000 the previous year.