Suppliers need to be lined up and committed to supporting your sustainability efforts. The Plan A Supplier Exchange shares best practices and encourages innovation. But you've got to make demands as well.
About Marks & Spencer
We are one of the UK’s leading retailers, with over 21 million people visiting our stores each week. We offer stylish, high quality, great value clothing and home products, as well as outstanding quality foods, responsibly sourced from around 2,000 suppliers globally. We employ over 75,000 people in the UK and abroad, and have over 600 UK stores, plus an expanding international business.
We are the number one provider of womenswear and lingerie in the UK, and are rapidly growing our market share in menswear, kidswear and home, due in part to our growing online business. Overall, our clothing and homeware sales account for 49% of our business. The other 51% of our business is in food, where we sell everything from fresh produce and groceries, to partly-prepared meals and ready meals.
Now more than ever, we’re also known for our green credentials as a result of our five-year eco plan, Plan A, which will see us, amongst other things, become carbon neutral and send no waste to landfill by 2012.
About Mike Barry
Mike is Head of Sustainable Business at the UK retailer Marks & Spencer.
He was part of the small team that developed the company's groundbreaking Plan A, a 100 point, 5 year plan to address a wide range of environmental and social issues. He helps provide the vision and the energy to affect change and ensure a leading but efficient approach to sustainability across the company.
He deals with issues as diverse as sustainable fish sourcing, chemicals in products, labour standards in factories, animal welfare, food miles, privacy and data protection, genetic modification, fair trade, wood sourcing, community investment, cotton sourcing and climate change. His working life is broadly divided into three parts. Listening to and prioritising stakeholder expectations of Marks & Spencer, integrating them into corporate strategy and working with shops, business units and suppliers to deliver more sustainable products and wider business activity.
Prior to joining Marks & Spencer in 2000, he worked as an environment manager in the engineering sector and as an environmental consultant. He is a chemistry graduate from Sheffield University.