Pillar 6

Fair partner

We’re only as strong as the communities in which we operate – so it makes good sense for us to be a fair partner – paying a fair price to suppliers, supporting local communities and making sure everyone working in our supply chains enjoys good working conditions.

Aiming for ethical excellence

Sharing best practice is an integral part of our ethical programme and in April 2013 we extended our ethical trading assessments to cover all of our top 20 non-merchandise suppliers. We also provided training – covering ethics and employee rights – for even more workers in our supply chains, taking the total we’ve trained since 2010 to around 244,000 people.

Stepping up supplier training

We’ve launched a new resource for suppliers called the Supplier Training and Education Programme (STEP) on our Supplier Exchange Website. STEP makes it easy for suppliers to choose the training resources they need to from a wealth of relevant free material.

Farming for the Future

In June, we launched our M&S Farming for the Future Education Programme to help address the shortage of talented young people coming into UK agriculture. The programme is a collaborative effort with our suppliers that aims to equip young ‘agriculturalists’ with the skills and experience they need at different stages of their careers. In September 2012 we participated in the Institute of Grocery Distribution’s ‘Feeding Britain’s Future’ – Skills for Work Week to help tackle youth unemployment by bringing a new generation into the food industry.

Working with UNICEF

We’re now in our second year of working in partnership with UNICEF in the Mymensingh and Dhaka regions of Bangladesh to provide facilities and services for vulnerable children of all ages, pregnant mothers, babies and adolescents, helping to give them a safer, healthier and brighter future. M&S donates 50p out of every £1 saved from reusing and recycling coat hangers totalling £630,000 a year.