M&S to invest £200m in reducing carbon footprint

The chief executive of Marks & Spencer Stuart Rose has unveiled plans to
invest £200m in making the company carbon neutral over the next five years.

He said M&S will spend £20m in capital over the coming financial year and
£40m in revenue to achieve its target.

The company joins businesses such as HSBC and British Sky Broadcasting in the
move, and was advised by former Friends of the Earth director Jonathan Porritt.

M&S’s ambitious plans for becoming ‘carbon neutral’ include: sending no
waste to landfill sites by 2012; powering its stores, warehouses and offices
with ‘green energy’ (including a method of converting its own waste into fuel
from compost); using bio-diesel in its lorries; increasing the rail-freighting
of produce; making all its polyester clothing from recycled plastic bottles
instead of oil; only sourcing raw materials like wood and foodstuffs from
sustainable sources; putting a greater emphasis on animal welfare at farms;
phasing out the use of pesticides; making a shift towards the use of fair-trade
suppliers; and much more.

Commenting on the announcement, Rose said: ‘what we’re saying, effectively,
is look; we believe responsible business can be profitable business’.

The major supermarkets have also pledged to reduce their carbon footprints.
Last year, Tesco pledged to invest £100m to develop renewable energy, and Asda
and J Sainsbury also set reduction targets.

Rose, who became chief executive three years ago, recently acknowledged a
‘recovery’ of the chain after good sales in the run up to Christmas. He said
none of the company’s ‘green’ initiatives would lead to price increases at the

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