Marks & Spencer has announced a plan to go carbon neutral, send no waste to landfill, make its procurement practices more sustainable and ‘set new standards in ethical trading’ – and all by 2012.

The upmarket supermarket enlisted Jonathon Porritt, director of Forum for the Future, to help them draw up their plan.

The plan commits the company to using renewable energy where possible and offsetting only as a last resort in its efforts to drive down net carbon emissions.

Significant progress will also be made on waste, with the company saying it will send nothing to landfill and will also reduce packaging by 25% to ensure customers are also sending less to landfill.

“M&S will change beyond recognition the way it operates over the next five years,” said chief executive, Stuart Rose.

“This is a deliberately ambitious and, in some areas, difficult plan. We don’t have all the answers but we are determined to work with our suppliers, partners and Government to make this happen. Doing anything less is not an option.”

“Every business and individual needs to do their bit to tackle the enormous challenges of climate change and waste. While M&S will continue to sell great quality, stylish and innovative products, our customers, employees and shareholders now expect us to take bold steps and do business differently and responsibly.”

The plan is expected to cost £200 to implement.

Sam Bond

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