Growing and harvesting the raw materials we rely on can harm the environment, so it’s important that we source them wisely – doing all we can to replenish them, protect natural habitats and ensure good animal welfare standards.
100% of our wild fish came from the most sustainable sources available. This year we’ve launched a project with the Blue Marine Foundation at Lyme Bay to explore ways in which we can involve more local stakeholders – from fishermen to the English Tourist Board – in running a successful, community-based fishery. We’ve also involved schools through our School of Fish education programme and our employees and customers through our Big Beach Clean-ups.
Sourcing sustainable cotton
We’ve made good progress increasing the amount of sustainable cotton we use with nearly 11% being Fairtrade, recycled, organic or sourced from the Better Cotton Initiative, compared with 3.8% in 2011/12.
Good progress on wood and other raw materials
We’ve improved the way we confirm that our suppliers meet our standards including the new EU Timber Regulation. At present, 88% of our timber comes from proven sustainable sources. We’ve also made good progress on improving the sustainability of a wide range of raw materials including farmed fish, palm oil, tea and coffee used to make M&S products. But we still face challenges in our targets on leather, soy and cocoa.
Sourcing better cotton, building better lives
At Warangal in India, we’re running a ‘better cotton’ project that will bring tangible benefits for farmers and their families as well as M&S. Over the next three years the project is set to improve income and living standards for around 20,000 farmers and produce an extra 25,000 hectares of ‘better cotton’.
Plugging store leaks
As part of our drive to manage and monitor our water usage more effectively, we’ve checked our stores and fixed 74 leaks. We’re currently installing our own Automatic Meter Reading devices in M&S stores and have so far achieved a 27% reduction per sq ft compared to 2006/07.
Due to the increased difficulty in segregating non-GM and GM soya, in April 2013, we had to bring our policy in line with the rest of the industry and no longer specify non-GM animal feed for fresh meat and poultry. M&S organic ranges are available as a non-GM feed alternative and our commitment to only using non-GM food ingredients remains unchanged.