Marks & Spencer has become the first retailer to receive the triple award of certification for achievements in carbon, water and waste reduction from the Carbon Trust. The Carbon Trust Standards are independent certifications recognising organisations that successfully measure, manage and reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, water use and waste — demonstrating leadership within their sector by making year-on-year progress.
Since the launch of its Plan A eco and ethical program in 2006/07, the business has achieved zero-waste-to-landfill status, reduced energy use in stores, offices and warehouses by 31 percent, cut store refrigerant gas carbon emissions by 60 percent, used two billion fewer single-use carrier bags in its food halls, and become a carbon-neutral company.
“There’s a clear business case for managing and reducing our own impact on the environment,” said Clem Constantine, director of property at M&S. “It saves money, helps us become more efficient and better prepares M&S for the future.
“Working with the Carbon Trust gives us the knowledge and confidence to push ourselves further and supports us in achieving our ambitious Plan A goals.”
Tom Delay, Chief Executive of the Carbon Trust, added that M&S has a “well-deserved reputation as a leading business when it comes to sustainability. By achieving independent certification the Carbon Trust Standard for each of carbon, water and waste then M&S is able to demonstrate year-on-year progress in achieving its Plan A goals.”
What do you need to know about the various standards?
- The Carbon Trust Standard certifies organisations that measure, manage and reduce GHG emissions year-on-year. To achieve it, companies need to demonstrate an absolute reduction in carbon footprint or equivalent relative efficiency improvement, as well as good carbon management, including governance, accounting and reduction methods and targets.
- The Carbon Trust Water Standard, certifies those that measure, manage and reduce water use year-on-year. To achieve the standard, companies need to demonstrate a reduction in water use either in absolute terms, or water intensity in relation to turnover or product, looking at both water inputs and trade effluent output, as well as passing a qualitative assessment on water governance, measurement and management.
- The Carbon Trust Waste Standard certifies companies that measure, manage and reduce their solid and hazardous waste. They need to show that waste streams are being reduced every year, or are being used more effectively, for example through increased reuse, recycling or energy recovery.
This post first appeared on the 2degrees blog on March 7, 2014.