Marks and Spencer has been ranked the top retailer and one of the top companies in the first Business in the Community Corporate Responsibility Index.

More than 120 companies participated in the index, a business tool for companies to asses and compare how they integrate responsible business practice throughout their organisation in four key impact areas - environment, marketplace, workplace and community.

Chairman of M&S Luc Vandevelde said: “We welcome the index as an opportunity to benchmark our relative position. Corporate Social Responsibility is one of our fundamental strengths, it is critical to our success and runs through the DNA of our business.”

The index, which among others is supported by the Confederation of British Industry and the Department of Trade and Industry, will be launched today at a conference at The Millennium Conference Centre, London.