M&S’s Plan A becomes a business-success story

Published:  04 December, 2014

BSRIA, M&S, Plan A, Marks & Spencer
The business success of M&S’s Plan A — Munish Datta

Marks & Spencer’s Plan A achieved a record £145 net benefit to the business in 2013/14. Munish Datta, head of facilities management and Plan A at M&S, told last month’s BSRIA Briefing ‘Smarter ways to better buildings’ that the total net benefit has now reached £465 million, with £145 million achieved last year alone. The strength of the business case is indicated by comparing the savings with the last profit announcement of £623 million net.

Energy savings made a significant contribution, reducing the overall energy bill by about £30 million.

Mr Datta acknowledged the inspiration provided by BSRIA during the early stages of Plan A, especially the Soft Landings methodology and its impact on the long-term operational performance of new M&S buildings.

Such has been the success of Plan A that Mr Datta was able to tell his audience, ‘We continue to be the world’s only major carbon-neutral retailer and have won over 200 awards. We are delighted that last year the Carbon Trust recognised us as one of the first retail organisations to receive the triple standard for carbon, water and waster — because of our consistent performance over the last seven years.’

Major achievements include a 34% improvement in energy efficiency and a 27% improvement in water efficiency. The company now also sends no waste to landfill.

Refrigeration represents about a third of M&S’s carbon footprint, and emissions from the company’s refrigeration operation have been reduced by over 70%.

Learning stores such as Cheshire Oaks play key role in evaluating new ideas that can be rolled out across other new stores. Cheshire Oaks is the biggest green store M&S have ever built, and only marginally smaller than the store at Marble Arch in London. It has exceeded its environmental performance targets and its commercial performance targets.

LED lighting is becoming a major success story following its 100% use in a Sheffield store. Energy savings of about 75% are being achieved, and there are ambitious plans for rolling it out across other food stores and trying it out in retail stores.

Electricity for stores in the UK and Ireland comes from renewable sources. Looking forward, Munish Datta said, ‘We want by 2020 to make sure that 50% comes from small-scale renewables.’ One approach is to encourage its farmers to generate electricity from anaerobic digestion. M&S also has the largest roof-mounted solarPV installation in the UK — on a warehouse in the Midlands.

Looking to the future, Munish Datta concluded, ‘We are on a journey. We want to create a business that is carbon positive, that restores the natural environment in which it operates.’



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