Marks & Spencer
We’ve been working in partnership with food and fashion giant Marks & Spencer since 2009 to support improvements in sustainability across a range of areas.
WHY WE’RE WORKING TOGETHER
From the seafood in its sandwiches to the cotton in its clothes, M&S products depend on natural resources. But the way these are products are produced can have a wide range of impacts on the environment. We’ve been working with M&S to help to transform these industries for the better.
Billions of people depend on seafood for their livelihoods or nutrition, but our oceans are in trouble. Almost a third of the world’s fish stocks have now been fished beyond sustainable limits – yet our appetite for seafood keeps growing.
In 2010, M&S was the first UK company to sign WWF’s Global Seafood Charter, committing the company to work with us to safeguard our oceans and the people and wildlife who depend on them.
This has meant focusing on supply chains, insisting on traceability and sustainability in all its seafood products – as well as using its influence to advocate for better government policies and business practices, and funding several fishery improvement projects.
The WWF M&S partnership is focused on continuing to develop sector-leading sustainable seafood practices, in support of M&S’s Forever Fish strategy, and the marine sustainability element of the WWF Basket.
Our work also contributes to our analysis of the risks facing the world’s oceans. For example, our 2022 Risky Seafood Business report, assessed the global footprint of UK seafood production and consumption and identified key areas where UK supply chains can have the greatest impact.
This report has informed our wider work with M&S on sustainable sourcing, and the development of the Seascape (Jurisdictional) approach, which has been adopted by M&S.
WWF BASKET & WWF'S RETAILERS COMMITMENT FOR NATURE
In 2021 M&S signed WWF’s Retailers’ Commitment for Nature – a commitment to work with WWF on our target to halve the environmental impact of UK baskets by 2030.
Find out more on the WWF Basket webpage.
We’ve worked with M&S since 2004, and in partnership since 2009, supporting the launch of M&S’s ‘Plan A’ programme, which aims to put sustainability at the heart of the business.
WHAT WE’VE ACHIEVED
Some of our achievements to date include:
Supporting communities to catch and farm fish more sustainably through projects in Orkney, Canada, the Philippines, Madagascar, Belize, Honduras and elsewhere, featuring everything from cod to crab.
From 2009 to 2019 we worked with M&S to promote cotton farming practices that are better for people and nature. Cotton is used to make nearly half the world’s textiles, but its cultivation has a massive environmental footprint. We helped M&S reach 100% of the cotton for its clothing coming from more sustainable sources by 2019, by supporting more than 25,000 cotton farmers in India to grow Better Cotton – increasing their income by nearly 40%, while using 55% less pesticide, 40% less chemical fertiliser and 30% less water.
We are using funding from the Sparks card loyalty club to carry out vital conservation work, including reducing conflict between people and elephants in Asia and improving water management in priority river basins.