Marks and spencer Plan A Food waste

Marks and Spencer launches its new Plan A initiative to tackle greenhouse gases and food waste

M&S plans to halve food waste across its operations by 2025, reduce greenhouse gases by 13.3 million tonnes, and ensure 50% of global food sales come from healthier products by 2022, according to its new sustainability plan.

Announced today, the new Plan A 2025 commits the retailer to 17 headline targets spanning health, the environment and sustainable sourcing.

It comes 10 years after the publication of the first Plan A under which the grocer became the world’s first carbon-neutral major retailer, reduced carrier bag usage by 80%, and trained 890,000 people across its supply chain in employee rights, healthcare, numeracy and literacy.

“Marks & Spencer has been at the forefront of social change for 133 years and we’re determined to play a leading role in the years ahead,” said chief executive Steve Rowe. “Plan A 2025 will help us build a sustainable future by helping our customers live healthier lives, supporting the communities they live in and we source from, and looking after the planet we all share. We believe we can engage all of our 32 million customers, 85,000 colleagues and 200,000 shareholders in a plan that becomes a mass voice for sustainable change.”

Targets have been set to encompass three core pillars of work in improving wellbeing, helping communities and reducing environmental impact.

The launch will also be backed by a major marketing campaign that includes the ‘first ever Plan A store takeover’ with signage in every single M&S window, and its 70 largest stores hosting a welcome zone featuring details of work related to the local community. It has also launched a new Plan A hub on its website.

Chair of the Plan A advisory board Jonathon Porritt said: “It’s so important that M&S, one of the world’s most trusted and well-loved companies, keeps raising the bar on what it means to be a sustainable retailer. On all the big challenges - supply chain, climate, food waste, living wage, human rights, packaging, community investment and so on - the pressure is intensifying and expectations rising. It’s great to see M&S leading the way here.”

The retailer says it will report on progress annually with all commitments assured by independent auditors.