Thursday 7th June 2012, 16:25 London
M&S claims carbon neutral first
Company declares itself carbon neutral, a key milestone in the retailer's ongoing efforts to reduce its environmental impact
Marks & Spencer has claimed it is the first major UK retailer to become carbon neutral.
In a new report, the company said its Plan A sustainability strategy had netted savings of £105m (€128.4m) in 2011, a £35m (€42.8m) rise on the previous year's figures.
In addition, it said, 100 per cent of all M&S waste is now recycled and the volume of Fairtrade-branded food sold in its stores has increased by 88 per cent since 2007.
Currently over 30 per cent of M&S products – worth around £3bn (€3.67bn) – come under the Plan A programme, in that they are Fairtrade, organic or made from recycled material.
M&S chief executive Marc Bolland said: "I am proud of what we've achieved. We now have a better, greener and more ethical Marks & Spencer."
He added: "We remain as committed to Plan A as we have ever been as it is an essential part of our DNA and fundamental to our plans to become an international, multi-channel retailer."
M&S said it had also reduced annual carbon dioxide emissions by 158,000 tonnes since 2006/07, despite an 18 per cent growth in its sales floor footage across the UK.