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M&S details grand CO2 plan

Date: 12 June 2007   |   Author: John Mahoney

Astonishing plans for retail giant Marks and Spencer to become carbon neutral by 2012 hinge on a complete thorough and revolutionary rethink of its fleet policy.

Dramatic 100-point eco commitments were laid out in a 33-page document for shareholders and customers explaining how M&S will slash emissions, cut waste, increase sustainability and create a "fair partner" image.

Beginning last year the retailer has already reduced its carbon footprint by 28% (or 100,000 tonnes of CO2, the equivalent of taking 25,000 vehicles off the road) by introducing green energy sources of electricity and improving operational efficiency.

For the future M&S plans to use 50% bio-diesel in all lorries following successful trials. The firm has also planted 10,000 trees to carbon-offset furniture deliveries, and has plans to commit to buying locally in the UK and Ireland to reduce associated airfreight emissions.

On the delivery fleet all vehicles, including LCVs, will continue to be converted to cleaner Euro4 and even predicted 5 to meet the stricter requirements. So far 21% of the total vehicles on the fleet meet these requirements, two years ahead of the legislation.

M&S is also trialling new all-electric delivery vans for its Covent Garden store in London.

Green company car lists have also been introduced, restricting essential car users to low polluting vehicles, while business mileage has been minimised promoting a "train not plane message", conflicting with the firm's public embarrassment last year when it admitted leasing a private aircraft.