UK retailer Marks and Spencer says it’s on track to become the world’s most sustainable major retailer by 2015, reports Energy Efficiency News. The retailer expects to meet half of its 180 sustainability targets by April, well ahead of schedule, according to the company’s latest progress report.
As part of the retailer’s Plan A eco plan introduced in 2007, Marks and Spencer has introduced 399 aerodynamic ‘teardrop’ trailers that improve fuel efficiency by 10 percent and carry 10 percent more stock, which has reduced the company’s carbon footprint by 2300 tonnes a year, according to the article.
In June, Marks & Spencer announced that it had achieved a 20 percent reduction in food packaging, increased energy efficiency in stores 19 percent, used 417 million fewer carrier bags last year and invested over £50 million, or $73 million of profit from its Plan A activities back into the business.
The retailer also is addressing the environmental impact of its refrigeration systems across its portfolio of stores. Twenty-five stores are now using environmentally friendly CO2 refrigeration systems and a further 175 stores have been converted to refrigeration systems that use a cleaner HFC (R407a) gas that cuts emissions by 50 percent.
The company also is making progress towards its target of increasing recycling of operational waste at its stores, offices and distribution centers, which now stands at 92 percent, reports Energy Efficiency News. This is up from 53 percent reported in June. The company’s goal is to achieve zero waste to landfill by 2012.
Marks and Spencer also distributed 35,000 energy monitors to its employees to help reduce their energy use at home.
The retailer also stepped up its plans to sell only items that have at least one “eco” or “ethical” attribute, announcing plans in March that half of its products would meet this standard by 2015. By 2020, the goal is 100 percent.