Marks & Spencer: Pioneering a sustainable business

SNAPSHOT

Marks & Spencer has put sustainability at the heart of its business.

KEY INSIGHTS

  • For Marks & Spencer (M&S) going green has meant not just transforming every part of its business but trying to change the attitudes and behaviour of its 25 million customers.

  • A carefully-planned, three-stage approach has worked by convincing, not cajoling, people to do the right thing and change behaviour.

SUMMARY

M&S is one of the UK's leading retailers, selling clothing, food and homeware. In 2006 the company became determined to put sustainability at the heart of its business. It set out to transform every aspect of the company, from sourcing products to relationships with suppliers, shoppers and the wider world.

To succeed, it would have to change the attitudes and behaviour of every one of its 25 million shoppers. Since its inception it has passed through three distinct steps. The first step, 'Look Behind the Label' raised awareness and approval of a whole range of initiatives — and the brand itself.