Tag Archives: suppliers

Mark’s and Spencer opens greenest store ever

On March 1st, 2010 Marks & Spencer announced a programme to be the world’s most sustainable retailer by 2015 launching 80 major new commitments under M&S’ eco and ethical plan, Plan A.

Plan A, started on 2007, had already proven its efficacy achieving these great results in 2009/2010:
• Cost savings of around £50m for M&S;
• New products and services, including 250,000 customers from M&S Energy;
• Cut CO2 emissions by 40,000t;
• Recycled 2 million used garments via Oxfam;
• Reduced 10,000 tonnes of packaging;
• Diverted 20,000 tonnes of waste from landfill;
• Saved 387 million food carrier bags;
• Used 1,500 tonnes of recycled polyester (equivalent to 37 million bottles);
• Saved 100 million litres of water;
• Recycled or re-used over 130 million clothing hangers;
• £15m for charities.

Yesterday, April 18th 2011, Marks & Spencer achieved a new great result opening the retailer’s “greenest-ever” store at Ecclesall Road in Sheffield.

The store is the first of a number of new ‘Sustainable Learning’ stores, that are part of M&S’ drive to become the world’s most sustainable major retailer by 2015.

The new 12,400 sq ft Simply Food store, built from scratch on a former brownfield site, incorporates a host of sustainable design and construction features, including an LED screen giving real-time public transport information, electric car charging points and a green living wall to attract wildlife.

All the bricks used in the build have also been reclaimed from a local mill.

Marc Bolland said:

“We’re delighted to be opening M&S’ greenest-ever store, providing customers with top quality M&S food and drink products in such a convenient location.”

The store is “firmly on course” to achieve a BREEAM rating of Excellent, making it one of the most sustainable retail outlets in the UK.

Its carbon emissions will be 23% lower and energy usage 30% lower than a traditional similarly sized store.

Innovative features include:

  • LED lighting, which is 25% more efficient than standard lighting, is used throughout the store, a first in the UK.
  • Sun pipes bring natural lighting onto the shop floor;
  • 100% of the timber used is FSC certified, a UK first;
  • All the bricks have been reclaimed from an old local mill;
  • Water costs will be reduced by up to 40%, compared with a traditional similarly sized store, by using harvested rainwater;
  • Capturing heat expelled from the store’s refrigeration units to help heat the store;
  • A living green roof of sedum plants and green living wall have created wildlife habitats, as well as insulating the store;
  • Bird boxes have been placed around the perimeter wall of the site;
  • In total, 62 different species of plants have been planted on or around the store;
  • Polished concrete floors have removed the need for floor covering;
  • 100% of the construction waste has been recycled.

All employees at the store have also been fully trained to understand its environmental features and will be encouraged to share this information with customers. (Source: The Food and Drink innovation Network)

Sustainable supply chain: how to build it?

At the beginning of March 2011, McDonald’s announced its Sustainable Land Management Commitment (SLMC), a long-term plan to ensure the corporation only serves food (and uses packaging) certified as sustainably sourced. The initial focus is on five high impact products: beef, poultry, coffee, palm oil and packaging.  McDonald’s certainly have all the power to be able to win negotiations with suppliers and reach its goals, but what about small retailers who are buying from overseas?

Shirahime, a UK based ethical fashion consultancy, has published a guide to responsibly sourcing textiles and clothes from India.

Despite its narrow country and industry focus, the guide is packed with advice for any business looking to find responsible goods or services suppliers from overseas. Here’s an excerpt of the Shiraname’s guide.

Be clear about the outcomes you want to achieve
Define aims clearly and build a strategy around the outcomes you want to achieve. Don’t look exclusively for suppliers who have certification. Certification is a costly process and may not guarantee the specific outcomes youwant.

Instead, visit potential suppliers and examine their operations for yourself. If you do this, make sure you have a suitable translator and cultural liaison who can guide your decision making process. In addition, start networking, even if it’s with your competitors. If you do this up front it can vastly increase your chances of success in finding the right supplier.

Consider company size alongside business practices
There can be a correlation between a supplier’s size, the goods or services it provides, and its ability to operate responsibly.

As a broad rule of thumb, the larger the company the more comprehensive their offering will be. Yet the larger the company, the more likely it is that their business is focussed upon financial efficiency, not responsible practice. Therefore, if you’re looking for a responsible supplier it may be worth choosing smaller producers rather than bulk providers as your partners.

Consider alternatives to your preferred goods, service or country
In order to get the most responsible procurement deal, businesses have to change their mindset and be open minded about both the country of origin and the goods or service they’re looking to procure.

Be prepared to invest as well as purchase
Businesses need to think about how they can contribute long term value to their suppliers’ enterprise beyond a simple commercial deal. This is where the value of being clear in your outcomes and partnering with other companies can yield substantial benefits. (Source: Guardian.co.uk)