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M&S to Announce ‘Green’ Lease Policy

Marks & Spencer will next week unveil a “green” property lease policy intended to better manage new buildings’ environmental performance, and retrospectively add green clauses to 70 existing leases, the retailer says.

M&S says all new leases or retrofit agreements will facilitate sharing of data on gas, electricity, water usage and waste in M&S-occupied buildings. This will encourage both the retailer and its landlords – typically shopping centers and retail parks – to reduce CO2 emissions. The policy also encourages a joint approach to investment in eco-building technology such as biomass boilers, LED lighting and rainwater harvesting.

M&S will launch the new policy at next week’s Ecobuild 2013 conference in London.

The company says it reached an agreement with members of London’s Better Buildings Partnership to add green clauses to its existing leases. M&S calls the collaboration the first of its kind on this scale in the UK. The agreement will cover some of M&S’s largest stores, including those at Brent Cross in London, Silverburn in Glasgow and Meadowhall in Sheffield.

The policy is part of the retailer’s Plan A program, which includes a commitment to reduce energy use in M&S stores, offices and warehouses by 35 percent by 2015 against a 2007 baseline. M&S has already achieved a 28 percent reduction.

According to Clem Constantine, director of property at M&S, 70 percent of the company’s current commercial buildings will still exist in 2050, which means big carbon reductions must come from existing buildings, not just new ones.

In June 2012, the company announced that all M&S-operated stores, offices, warehouse and delivery fleets in the UK have been certified as carbon neutral, a goal reached by significantly cutting emissions and purchasing carbon offsets. The company also placed first in Carbon Clear’s 2012 report ranking carbon measurement and reporting efforts of FTSE 100 companies.


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