UK retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) says it has succeeded in tackling water-use in its stores and supply chain as part of its eco and ethical programme, Plan A.

M&S this week become the first retailer to receive the triple award of certification for achievements in carbon, water and waste reduction from the Carbon Trust. It has achieved this via the implementation of its Plan A programme, through which it aims to be a carbon neutral company.

One of the targets M&S set itself as part of the plan was to reduce water usage by 25% by 2015. In its 2013 update, the retailer said total store, office and warehouse water usage in 2012/13 was down by 27% at 49 litres per sq ft.

Clem Constantine, director of property at M&S, said: "There's a clear business case for managing and reducing our own impact on the environment. It saves money, helps us become more efficient and better prepares M&S for the future. Working with the Carbon Trust gives us the knowledge and confidence to push ourselves further and supports us in achieving our ambitious Plan A goals."

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M&S BECOMES FIRST RETAILER TO RECEIVE CARBON TRUST TRIPLE AWARD (has tackled water use in supply chain 3rd para) - Look at Plan A report to see what they're doing ...

Marks & Spencer (M&S) has become the first retailer to receive the triple award of certification for achievements in carbon, water and waste reduction from the Carbon Trust.

The Carbon Trust Standards are independent certifications recognising organisations that successfully measure, manage and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, water use and waste, demonstrating leadership within their industry by making real year-on-year progress.

Since the launch of Plan A, M&S' eco and ethical programme, M&S has achieved: · Zero waste to landfill; · Become a carbon neutral company; · Reduced energy use in stores, offices and warehouses by 31 per cent*; · Reduced store refrigerant gas carbon emissions by 60 per cent*; · Used two billion fewer single-use carrier bags in its food halls; · And tackled water-use in its stores and supply chain.

Clem Constantine, Director of Property at M&S, said: "There's a clear business case for managing and reducing our own impact on the environment. It saves money, helps us become more efficient and better prepares M&S for the future. Working with the Carbon Trust gives us the knowledge and confidence to push ourselves further and supports us in achieving our ambitious Plan A goals."

Tom Delay, Chief Executive of the Carbon Trust, said: "M&S has a well-deserved reputation as a leading business when it comes to sustainability. By achieving independent certification the Carbon Trust Standard for each of carbon, water and waste then M&S is able to demonstrate year-on-year progress in achieving its Plan A goals."

Carbon Trust Standards - more information · The Carbon Trust Standard, certifies organisations that measure, manage and reduce greenhouse gas emissions year-on-year. To achieve the standard organisations need to demonstrate an absolute reduction in carbon footprint or equivalent relative efficiency improvement, as well as good carbon management, including governance, accounting and reduction methods and targets;

· The Carbon Trust Water Standard, certifies organisations that measure, manage and reduce water use year-on-year. To achieve the standard organisations need to demonstrate a reduction in water use either in absolute terms, or water intensity in relation to turnover or product, looking at both water inputs and trade effluent output, as well as passing a qualitative assessment on water governance, measurement and management;

· The Carbon Trust Waste Standard certifies organisations that measure, manage and reduce their solid and hazardous waste. To achieve the standard organisations need to demonstrate that waste streams are being reduced every year, or are being used more effectively, for example through increased reuse, recycling or energy recovery.

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Against a 2006/07 baseline. For full details see 2013 Plan A Report.
Notes to editors About Plan A Plan A is Marks & Spencer's eco and ethical programme that aims to make M&S the world's most sustainable major retailer by 2015. Launched in 2007 and extended in March 2010, it takes a holistic approach to sustainability focusing on involving customers, involving all areas of the business and tackling issues such as climate change, waste, raw materials, health and being a fair partner.

About the Carbon Trust: The Carbon Trust is an independent company with a mission to accelerate the move to a sustainable, low carbon economy. The Carbon Trust: advises businesses, governments and the public sector on opportunities in a sustainable, low carbon world; measures and certifies the environmental footprint of organisations, products and services; helps develop and deploy low carbon technologies and solutions, from energy efficiency to renewable power.

 

Original source: Carbon Trust