M&S aims for net zero carbon emissions by 2040

The retailer plans to cut its total carbon footprint by a third, achieve zero deforestation in sourcing palm oil and soy and use more sustainable fibres by 2025

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M&S is aiming for net zero carbon emissions across its own operations, its entire supply chain and its products by 2040.

It has reset its Plan A sustainability programme to achieve the goal 10 years ahead of the UK’s Government’s target and follows its achievement of becoming the first major retailer to reach carbon-neutral status in 2012.

M&S has set out a detailed roadmap to net zero using science-based targets, with plans to cut its total carbon footprint by a third, achieve zero deforestation in sourcing palm oil and soy and use more sustainable fibres by 2025.

It has also introduced three initiatives, which includes identifying 100 ‘Carbon Champions’ across key roles in buying, sourcing and operations to drive net zero delivery and a programme of learning to grow carbon literacy and equip its employees with the understanding to identify carbon-related risks and opportunities.

In addition, the retailer is launching a new online Green Network so they can share ideas, inspiration and innovation.

M&S CEO Steve Rowe has written to the company’s global supplier base and hosted a business-wide event to rally its 70,000 colleagues behind plans to put a sustainable future “at the heart of its transformation strategy”.

He said: “We launched Plan A 14 years ago because we knew then there was no Plan B for our planet. We now face a climate emergency and in resetting Plan A with a singular focus, we can drive the delivery of net zero across our entire end-to-end supply chain. This won’t be easy. We need to transform how we make, move and sell our products to customers and fundamentally change the future shape of our business.

“This is not a far-away promise; we must act now to rapidly cut our footprint. To deliver this, we need our colleagues to better understand the carbon impact of our products and processes, we need to back our suppliers to innovate and adapt to the changing environment and we must work together to help customers enjoy lower carbon lives.”