M&S announces £1m fund for net zero projects

Marks & Spencer (M&S) is investing £1 million in an accelerator fund as part of its aim to become net zero across all its operations by 2040.

The Plan A Accelerator fund will see M&S work with suppliers to take action towards net zero through a series of projects.

The first project involves changing the diet of pasture-grazed cows in its milk pool to reduce the amount of methane they produce.

The retailer, which will work with all 40 of its dairy suppliers, estimates that it will remove 11,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year and cut the carbon footprint of milk by around 8.4 per cent.

M&S said it will trial using AI data to predict a store’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning to reduce energy consumption. It is currently being trialled in six stores and could save around 2,000 tons of carbon annually when rolled out to all stores.

M&S is planning further projects centred around water consumption and recycling of materials to reduce its carbon footprint.

“By turning our obsession with innovation towards climate change and tapping into the entrepreneurial spirit of our suppliers we can turbo charge our drive to be a net zero business across all our operations and entire supply chain by 2040,” said Stuart Machin, chief executive of M&S. “I’m excited by the big difference these small changes could make to some of the toughest climate challenges we face.”

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