M&S signs up to UNICEF’s new carbon offset project

Marks & Spencer (M&S) has become the first major company to sign up to UNICEF's new carbon offset project, which aims to improve the health and lives of vulnerable children while cutting carbon emissions.

M&S will kick start the project in early 2014 by providing funds for 40,000 fuel efficient, low pollution cook stoves to be manufactured, sold and maintained by local entrepreneurs in Bangladesh.

The new stoves are 50% more fuel efficient than traditional stoves, producing one tonne less carbon emissions each year.

This is the equivalent of driving a petrol car 3,000 miles. The new stoves will be used by low income families from over 2,000 villages across Bangladesh.

In addition, the fuel efficient cook stoves help to reduce deforestation and limit local flooding.

According to M&S, 90% of households in Bangladesh depend on biomass such as wood, forest cuttings and cow dung for fuel, but less than 2% of those households use fuel efficient stoves.

Marks & Spencer chief executive Marc Bolland said: “This project will have a huge impact in a country that is extremely important to M&S. Being carbon neutral is a key part of Plan A and it’s important that, wherever we can, we invest in high quality offsets that support communities within which we operate”.

Leigh Stringer

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