British retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) announced on Wednesday that the Carbon Trust has awarded the company triple certification for achieving carbon, water and waste reduction.
The Carbon Trust is an independent company that aims to accelerate the move to a sustainable, low carbon economy. Its certifications, known as Carbon Trust Standards, recognise organisations that demonstrate leadership within their industry by making real year-on-year progress in successfully measuring, managing and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, water use and waste. Marks & Spencer is reportedly the first retail company to receive Carbon Trust Standards certification, following the extension of its eco and ethical programme Plan A in 2010.
Marks & Spencer’s Plan A was first launched in 2007 and was created with the intention of making the company the world’s most sustainable major retailer by 2015. With a holistic approach to sustainability, Plan A focuses on the involvement of its customers and all areas of the business, while dealing with issues such as climate change, waste, raw materials, health and being a fair partner.
The eco and ethical programme has helped Marks & Spencer to become a carbon neutral company and to achieve zero waste to landfill and a reduction of 31% in energy use by its stores, offices and warehouses, along with a reduction of 60% in its store refrigerant gas carbon emissions. The company’s food halls have also reduced the number of single-use carrier bags used by two billion. Water-use in its stores and supply chain has also been reduced.
Clem Constantine, Director of Property at M&S, commented “There’s a clear business case for managing and reducing our own impact on the environment. It saves money, helps us become more efficient and better prepares M&S for the future. Working with the Carbon Trust gives us the knowledge and confidence to push ourselves further and supports us in achieving our ambitious Plan A goals.”