Customers ‘demanding action’ on environmental issues

Retailer's are leading the way in environmental and ethical standards but those in the sector could be doing more, says Marks & Spencer's (M&S) Adam Elman.

In a recent report, retailers were ranked as one of the top performering sectors reporting on carbon emissions, while some of the major supermarkets have reported substantial environmental and financial benefits from their sustainability programmes in 2012.

Talking to edie, head of delivery for Plan A, Elman, said the close relationship with customers is helping the retail sector ensure operations are sustainable and products are going further than current environmental and ethical standards.

“I think retail on the whole does a great job in terms of environmental and ethical issues. As retailers, we are very closely linked with customers. We’re on the high street and online and we’re providing the products that they’re wearing, eating or using,” said Elman.

According to Elman, customers are becoming increasingly worried about environmental issues.

“Customers are rightly demanding action from the people they are buying from but I think retailers are good at innovating and continue to look at taking out cost and bring new products to the market”.

Despite this, Elman thinks the retail sector could being doing more to become a truly sustainable sector. “We’re on a journey and we need to get better and we need to do more and that’s what retail needs to do as whole,” he added.

Yesterday, the company announced that over 35% of its product range is now being sold to an eco or ethical standard above the ‘market norm’.

In an update of Plan A, M&S said its commitment is driving more sustainable consumption amongst customers.

Leigh Stringer

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