Pillar 1

Involve our customers in Plan A

We need our customers’ help to take Plan A to the next level, so we’re working hard to explain how many of the M&S products they buy contribute directly to Plan A, and making it easier for them to get involved in Plan A activities with us.

Putting Plan A into our products

We’re putting Plan A qualities into more of our products and explaining how they make a positive difference on sustainable raw materials, animal welfare standards or other Plan A commitments. This year, we’ve increased the proportion of our products with at least one Plan A quality to 45% from 31% in 2011/12.

Encouraging customers to get involved

We know many of our customers care about environmental and social issues, so it’s no surprise to us that they donated a total of 3.8 million clothes items through our Shwopping scheme – raising £2.3m for Oxfam. They also helped us raise £1.5m for Breakthrough Breast Cancer through their donations. We’ve now raised £19m for Breakthrough Breast Cancer in 12 years.

Adding a digital dimension to Plan A

We’re using the web and social media to tell customers ‘What you can do’ to get involved in a wide range of Plan A activities – including details of events like our Big Beach Clean-ups, practical advice about cutting carbon emissions at home and the benefits of a balanced diet and active lifestyle.

Joining our Big Beach clean-up

In April 2013, around 5,000 customers and 4,000 M&S employees worked with the Marine Conservation Society at over 160 beaches, riversides and canals, clearing enough rubbish to fill 4,000 recyclable bin bags.

Plan A product partnerships

We’ve worked together with our suppliers and taken good advice from external partners including WRAP and The Sustainability Consortium to increase the number of M&S products that put Plan A into action. Over the past 12 months we’ve sold nearly one billion individual items with at least one Plan A quality.

Recycling more and wasting less

As well as Shwopping, our customers have also helped us to recycle 199 tonnes of used Christmas cards, nearly 2,800 mattresses, 4,700 other items of upholstered furniture and 161 million clothing hangers.