After recently shopping at a Marks & Spencer in Paris, I became intrigued with the UK based phenom. There was Something about the spirit in the shop, something so pure that drew me to it. After further exploration, I then realized it was more than just great packaging and branding that attracted my soul.
Raising the bar for big business everywhere, are our friends over at Marks & Spencer. The U.K. Based retailer that does about 10 billion in revenue annually aims to be the worlds most sustainable retailer by 2015. But More than just words in an ad campaign, they’ve actually got a plan for this seismic goal, Plan A that is.
In 2007 they launched what is called “Plan A”, because there is no Plan B. And how they see it, It’s now the only way to do business. “Plan A”, which consist of 180 commitments to sustainable operations in just about every aspect of their business, anywhere from decreasing waste, to the health and well being of staff and communities. To prove they truly meant business, they’ve allocated 50 million pounds (which equals to about $80 Million, and about €60 million) for this innovation fund.
Since 2011 they already achieved 95 of their 180 commitments and are on track to completing all of their projected goals by 2015. Not only that, Plan A has brought a positive surplus of revenue back into the company. How cool is that!
Says Ceo Mark Bolland:
I’m pleased to tell you that we’ve now achieved 95 of the 180 Plan A commitments we set ourselves in 2007 and 2010, resulting in a reduced environmental footprint, a positive contribution to communities, increased efficiencies, greater innovation and additional business. This year, Plan A has contributed a net benefit of over £70m, up on the £50m last year, which has been invested back into the business
Plan A is now integral to the spirit and substance of Marks & Spencer- Something that really can be found ‘Only at your M&S.’ Four years on from its launch, Plan A is delivering real benefits to our customers, employees, shareholders and suppliers as well as local communities and the environment. Our new Sustainable Learning Store at Ecclesail Road in Sheffield is a great example of that.