Marks and Spencer appoints eco champions to promote its £200m environmental programme

Marks and Spencer (M&S) has so far appointed 560 employees as ‘champions’ to promote its five-year, £200m environmental programme, known as Plan A.

Under the plan, by 2012 M&S aims to become carbon neutral, send no waste to landfill, extend sustainable sourcing, improve ethical trading and help customers and employees lead healthier lifestyles. The champions will co-ordinate the company’s activities locally in M&S stores and offices across the UK.

The retailer has already made great strides in its drive to go green. In the past 12 months it claims to have reduced its UK carbon footprint by 28% compared with the previous year, equating to more than 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Plan A commits the company to a further 25% reduction in energy use, a drastic cut in the use of packaging materials, better management of labour standards throughout its supply chain, and providing 1,500 healthy eating advisers in stores across the country.

The details were laid out in the company’s annual social responsibility report, How we do business. Other issues covered in the report include training and career development for staff, changes to the pension scheme and workforce diversity statistics.

Last year, M&S pre-tax profit rose by 28.5% to £965.2m, signalling a remarkable turnaround under chief executive Stuart Rose.

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