Marks and Spencer

WWF has worked with M&S since 2004, initially on sustainable fishing and forestry initiatives, before launching our first partnership in 2007 to support Plan A, the company’s sustainable business transformation programme.
 
Our current three-year partnership began in 2014 and focuses on fishing, cotton and water; all areas with great potential to make a positive social and environmental impact and introduce more resilient growing and management practices.  
 
Both WWF and M&S recognise the need to protect and maintain the world’s natural resources, but we cannot achieve this on our own. Building on successes to date we are working together on a range of technical sustainability projects. Our joint ambition is to develop and trial approaches that can be adopted by other businesses, and by doing so extend our influence beyond individual supply chains. 

SPARKS card

We're delighted to be one of the charities supported by SPARKS, M&S’s members club.

Go into any M&S store to pick up your SPARKS card and register online. Select WWF as your chosen charity and every time you use your SPARKS card, M&S will donate one penny to WWF.


What we're doing

As a signatory to WWF’s Global Seafood Charter, M&S is committed to working alongside WWF, the fishing industry, other businesses, government and local communities to safeguard marine wildlife, the natural environment and the livelihoods of those dependent on the oceans for their well-being.
 
As part of the Seafood Charter, WWF is supporting M&S to implement a sustainable procurement policy, ensure all new seafood products come from sustainable sources, advocate for reform of government policy, and to ensure traceability for all seafood products.
 
Using ‘Better Cotton’
Working alongside M&S and the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), we’re supporting farmers in India to help develop ways of producing cotton that use less water and fewer pesticides. As well as being better for the health of cotton farming communities and the environment, this is key to ensuring 70% of M&S cotton comes from more sustainable sources by 2020.
 
So far over 20,000 farmers have been certified as Better Cotton farmers, on average reducing water consumption by 16%, pesticide use by 18% and chemical fertiliser use by 22% when compared to conventional farmers.  
 
We will build on this success to enable the project to become self-sustaining. This will ensure all farmers involved receive the support they need from national cooperatives to establish farmer federations that will partner directly with the BCI.
 
Reducing M&S’s Water Risk
WWF is supporting M&S to identify water risks within its food supply chains. M&S is using the WWF Water Risk Filter and strategic advice from WWF to address these risks and implement water stewardship strategies in priority river basins across the globe.

Learnings will be shared with other companies to help M&S build resilience in its supply chains as well as to forward the water stewardship agenda.

Dhow sailing boat. Lateen-rigged coastal sailing vessel of Arab origin. Zanzibar Island. Tanzania

Why we’re doing it

We know that some of the challenges we face are too big to be tackled alone:
  • Around 90% of the world’s commercial marine fish stocks are either fully exploited or overfished. With over 250 million people earning their living from fishing and aquaculture – and around three billion people relying on fish as a major source of protein – the world needs to source seafood sustainably and responsibly
  • Cotton represents nearly half the fibre used to make clothes and other textiles worldwide. It can take around 11,000 litres of water to make 1kg of final cotton textile.  2.5% of the world’s crop land is planted with cotton and yet it accounts for 16.5% and 5.7% of the global sales, by value, of insecticide and pesticides respectively. We need to ensure that cotton production is safe for both people and planet by minimising the damaging health impacts on workers and ecosystems
  • Only 3% of the world’s water is fresh and only 1% of this is accessible. 1.1 billion people worldwide lack access to water and at current consumption rates, two-thirds of the world’s population may face water shortages by 2025. This poses a major threat to communities, the environment and to businesses, whose supply chain operations need a healthy water supply
WWF recognises that businesses make a big impact on the natural world and is working with M&S to ensure the responsible sourcing of food and fibres to help minimise this.  

Monarch butterflies flying in warmth of midday sun,  Mexico

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