M&S to investigate how it can become a circular economy business


Retailer Marks & Spencer is to complete a detailed review by 2016 to see where there are circular economy opportunities across its business.

As part of its new Plan A 2020, it now has 100 targets it intends to meet to become a more sustainable business.


Among these are four new commitments on the circular economy. The first is that M&S will work with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and other partners to identify the commercial viability of reusing waste materials across the business. It aims to complete this by 2016.

Another commitment is that is will also produce a report by 2016 that will outline the policy steps that are needed to accelerate the journey to creating a sustainable economy. It will work with Forum for the Future on this.

 M&S will also conduct a series of collaborative projects to review the causes of food waste across its supply chains and operations, and by 2015 aims to set a reduction target to be achieved by 2020. It will also review opportunities to donate an increased amount of food to charities.

It also revealed that it is working on a two-year project with the University of Cambridge, Institute of Manufacturing, with funding from the Technology Strategy Board, to investigate opportunities to increase the volume and value of textile recovery and will share the learning’s of this project publicly by 2016.

M&S also noted in the report that it is on plan to meet its existing targets of developing environmentally friendly food packaging and is collaborating on ways to increase the use of recycled plastic in food packaging.

It is also working with WRAP’s Fresher for Longer campaign to reduce food waste through better packaging.

M&S chief executive Marc Bolland said: “Plan A is at the heart of our plans to become a sustainable, international, multi-channel retailer.

“It’s become a vital part of how we run our business and represents a better way of working that materially improves our customers’ and partners’ experience of M&S.

“Once again we have made 100 commitments comprising of existing, revised and new targets with our sights set on significant progress in the next few years.”