As part of Plan A we have pledged to protect natural resources, safeguard natural habitats, and support the replenishment of raw materials. We aim to ensure that 100% of wood and paper used by M&S is sustainable: either recycled, FSC®-certified, or from sources that otherwise protect forests and communities. We've developed this last category by working closely with the Rainforest Alliance, which has helped us build a framework based on risk assessment.
We are making good progress: 76% of the wood we use is now sustainable. Our commitment covers everything sourced by M&S - not only products and packaging, but all the wood and paper used in the construction and
running of our stores and offices, and all our communications and marketing materials.
Our Property and Store Development team are one of the driving forces behind our commitment to sustainable wood. Last year, 94% of timber procured by our construction and fit out supply base met the Plan A commitment. All our direct building contractors and equipment suppliers are now FSC® Chain of Custody certified, providing M&S with a guarantee of the FSC® status of the wood supplied.
In April 2011, the team was proud to open the new Sustainable Learning Store at Ecclesall Road in Sheffield, the world's first fully FSC®-certified 'build and fit out' retail store. Working closely with contractor Wates Group, the team overcame challenges including the ability to find local sources of specific wood types such as western red cedar, used for canopies and protection of the external plant room, and ensuring wood used in highly visible finishings such as birch plywood, used for the sales floor, was of adequate quality.
The team is working on a second Sustainable Learning Store, at Westfield Stratford City, east London, which will open in autumn 2011. Looking to the future, M&S will continue to collaborate with suppliers and partners - such as WWF's GFTN - to overcome challenges, continuously improve the sustainability of our wood sourcing, and ultimately achieve our vision to become the world's most sustainable retailer.