M&S is an advocate of effective, proportionate and fair regulation on climate change issues and the first major retailer anywhere in the world to have carbon neutral operations. M&S sees renewable energy as an important part of the solution to achieve this.
With the aim to accelerate its work towards a zero carbon business, M&S has set targets to improve energy efficiency in the UK and Ireland by 50%, to reduce refrigeration gas emissions by 80% and to source 50% of its gas from certified green bio-methane sources by 2020. Moreover, M&S also plan to continue to offset their gross greenhouse gas emissions to zero, which allowed them to be carbon neutral in all their own operated and joint venture locations worldwide.
For all M&S products, the company aims to have at least one Plan A quality by 2020 and is currently running various programmes to encourage suppliers to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions as well.
M&S will achieve its 100% renewable power goal through Plan A. The company’s ethical and environmental programme, launched in 2007 has now has become part of the fabric of the business. Since the launch of Plan A M&S has lowered its carbon emissions by 19%, reported a 36% improvement in energy efficiency across its UK and ROI operations and is carbon neutral across its worldwide operations, joint-venture stores, offices, warehouses and delivery fleets.
The next phase, Plan A 2020, sets out a new and revised set of 100 commitments and represents another step along their journey towards becoming a truly sustainable retailer.
To continue its carbon neutral mission, in addition to sourcing renewable electricity, M&S have sourced a portfolio of high quality carbon credits: with their carbon off setting policy in place M&S believe they are choosing the fastest and most effective way to make an impact on emissions globally.
Since 2012, all the electricity M&S purchased for stores, offices and warehouses in the UK and Ireland came from green tariff renewable sources, and in 2014/15 21% of the electricity used came from small-scale generators, supported by M&S electricity procurement contracts.
M&S Energy has also just launched a scheme to support community renewable energy projects in the UK, with over 200 projects in the running for £400,000 of support over one year.
In March 2015 M&S completed the installation of the UK’s largest single roof mounted solar panel array on its East Midlands distribution centre, which will lower M&S’s carbon footprint by 48,000 tonnes over 20 years.
In September 2014 the company agreed a deal with Future Biogas for the purchase of 35,000 MWh of biomethane certificates (50% more carbon efficient than average gas supplies) a move, which will reduce its carbon footprint by over 6,400 tonnes and source the equivalent amount of energy to heat 15 M&S Simply Food stores all year round.
- Demonstrate leadership to address climate change
- Accelerate their work towards being a zero carbon business
- Help reduce global GHG emissions and help avoid the worse impacts of climate change
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