Mark & Spencer Reveal Plan A

Marks & Spencer has announced the rest of its 100 point plan to become carbon neutral. Stuart Rose, Chief Executive, said, "We believe a responsible business can be a profitable business. We are calling this "Plan A" because there is no 'plan B'." They announced the £200M project early in the year, but not all of the 100 points have been released until now.

They have already made some significant steps, such as labelling food that has been flown in from other countries, and moving towards their target of reducing packaging by 25%. They also announced that they would be participating in a carbon footprint labelling scheme.

The new points announced include changing all company cars to either diesel or hybrid, and offering staff cash rather than a car. They will also promote train travel over flights, but it is unclear what will happen to the private jet that the chain lease.

The project is a great aim, and will hopefully act as a model which other stores can use to achieve the same goal. If M&S; can prove that a large ethical, sustainable business can also be a profitable one, then perhaps others will follow suit. To really create change though, managers need an incentive to do so. Rather than keeping shareholders happy, they need motivation to keep the environment happy.

This motivation may actually come from customers. Mike Barry, head of corporate social responsibility, said that research shows that sustainability is becoming more important for shoppers. "Four years ago 50% of customers said it mattered to them that M&S; was a responsible business. By last year that proportion had grown to 97% ... we get the message. We are on the front foot and people now know what we stand for." :: The Guardian

See also :: Carbon Footprint Labels for UK Produce :: Marks & Spencer Gets Greener