The retailer has signed a partnership with UK-based rainforest protection charity Cool Earth, that will ensure the protection of one million trees in the Amazon.

In addition to keeping more than 5,000 acres of forest intact, it will prevent 1.3 million tonnes of CO2 emissions.

The project will involve empowering indigenous communities, through funding and training, to adopt financially and environmentally sustainable land-use policies.

The three year partnership will support Cool Earth’s Ashaninka project (300 miles east of Lima) in Peru.

It sits within the Amazon biome and to the west of Mato Grosso, where much forest has already been lost to soya and cattle agriculture.

According to M&S, the project will “tip the balance away” from clearing forest for soya, ranching and plantations by giving indigenous communities control over their forest and boosting the incomes they make from sustainable harvesting of forest products such as coffee, cocoa and Brazil nuts.

Today’s announcement is part of the company’s update on its 180 commitment eco and ethical programme, Plan A.

Commenting on the update, Plan A director Mike Barry, said that the company is currently working closely with its external Sustainable Retail Advisory Board to develop a series of “new social and environmental goals to further strengthen Plan A.”

In the update, M&S also announced that its Plan A programme will help 10,000 workers in its Indian supply chain train in financial literacy and work on a new health campaign that targets 14,000 garment workers in Cambodia.

Leigh Stringer

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