UK: M&S emphasises commitment to Plan A
UK retailer Marks and Spencer has emphasised its commitment to the environmental goals in its Plan A "eco-plan" despite news that it is considering scaling back its marketing spend on the project.
"Many companies are looking at their marketing mix in the current climate but it is completely wrong to suggest that this means we are any less committed to driving Plan A forward," a spokesperson for the retailer said today (11 November).
The spokesperson said that, given the current economic climate, it is looking to cut costs.
According to M&S, Plan A is fundamentally connected to this goal, as it is helping the company drive efficiency gains and reducing energy costs. Indeed, the spokesperson revealed, the two-year-old Plan A is currently breaking even, with savings offsetting investment levels.
"Plan A is already becoming ingrained into the way we do business and has become much more embedded in product messaging in store. It is also more prominent on our refreshed Plan A website. There are many ways to communicate with customers and we know they want to get involved," the spokesperson said.
In the company's half-year update last week, M&S chairman Sir Stuart Rose was also keen to highlight the achievements of Plan A.
Over the past two-years, M&S has met 20 of the plan's 100 commitments, with a further 75 "underway". It has reduced the use of plastic carrier bags in store, introduced energy saving technologies in its stores, reduced packaging and made progress on its goal to send zero waste to landfill.
"Conditions may be challenging on the high street but Plan A has made us think of new ways of working. This has helped to deliver not only benefits to the environment and people across our supply chain but also savings to our customers and our business," Rose said.
"Progress made on energy saving, reducing waste and increasing efficiency mean that twenty-two months in, Plan A is cost neutral. We know our customers expect us to take a lead on ethical and environmental issues and we will continue to deliver."
As part of Plan A M&S has committed itself to more sustainable textiles, through the trial of new fibres and using organic cotton, linen and wool. It has also vowed to fight against climate change through its Wash at 30° campaign.
However, as just-style reported last month, the retailer's Plan A hopes to use 50% bio-diesel in its distribution lorries have been put on hold for the time being.
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