Leading British retailer M&S has been recognised for achieving and maintaining carbon neutrality across its global operations since 2014. The United Nations (UN) Momentum for Change Climate Solutions Award 2017 was given to M&S for its exemplar carbon reduction strategy which includes sourcing 100% renewable electricity and carbon offsets through Natural Capital Partners to achieve net zero emissions.

Committed to carbon neutrality until 2025, M&S’ achievement is considered a “Lighthouse Activity” by the UN Momentum for Change initiative because it demonstrates that ambitious and effective climate goals can be met under the Paris Agreement while shining a light on solutions which other businesses can follow. As part of its carbon neutral programme, M&S worked with Natural Capital Partners to fund the launch of UNICEF’s efficient cookstove project in Bangladesh, which is verified to the Gold Standard.

Chief Marketing Officer of Natural Capital Partners, Rebecca Fay, commented: “Since the launch of Plan A, M&S has continually raised the bar on what it means to be a climate leader. M&S has not only committed to carbon neutrality for the long term but has also used the offset programme to support a key NGO partner, UNICEF, in a key supply chain country, Bangladesh.”

Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change, said: “I want to congratulate this year’s award winners. Their passion, creativity and positive impacts on the ground are extraordinary, real-world examples of how the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the wider SDGs is happening at all scales, across all countries, and across all sectors of society.”

M&S began its Plan A sustainability strategy in 2007. In 2012, the company became carbon neutral in the UK and Ireland, which was further extended to all M&S operations worldwide in 2014. As a member of the RE100 group of companies committed to sourcing 100% renewable electricity, M&S addresses its Scope 2 emissions through its own solar array as well as through the purchase of Guarantees of Origin (GOs) in Europe, Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGOs) in the UK and International Renewable Energy Certificates (I-RECs) to cover electricity consumption elsewhere.

M&S’ carbon neutral strategy will be showcased alongside the other 18 other winning activities at a series of events during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP23) in Bonn in November 2017.

Read more about M&S’ work with UNICEF here.

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