Marks & Sparks enlists WWF in eco move

WWF has announced that it will be working with Marks & Spencer to help the retailer deliver a five-year, 100-point plan to reduce its environmental impact.

The charity will work on environmental projects with M&S’s food and cotton growers, and will lend its weight to efforts to encourage the retailer’s 16 million weekly customers and 75,000 staff to reduce their own carbon footprints. M&S will also fund WWF projects to protect orang-utans in Borneo and endangered fish stocks in the north-east Atlantic marine eco-region.

A spokeswoman for the WWF said the partnership was a natural extension of existing collaborations between the charity and the retailer over fish stocks, chemical use and sustainable forests. She said the charity’s commitment was for an initial one-year period, which would be reviewed annually.

WWF-UK chief executive David Nussbaum said the partnership would address “some of the most significant environmental challenges on the high street today”. He added: “Agriculture and the production of food and textiles are where our human ecological footprint is at its greatest, so we are delighted to have strengthened our relationship with Marks & Spencer to help us drive better practices in this sector.”

M&S’s “Plan A” includes commitments to extending sustainable sourcing, avoiding sending waste to landfill sites and making all operations in the British Isles carbon-neutral.

Stuart Rose, chief executive of Marks & Spencer, said: “We have already made some real inroads here, but we are delighted that we can now accelerate this process with expert support and advice from WWF.”

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