Marks and Spencer have always had a keen interest in corporate social responsibility, however until recent changes they have taken a large step forward and taken it upon themselves to create new plans on how, as a company they can become “the world’s most sustainable retailer by 2015” (M&S Press Release 1-March-2010). From an early start M&S in 1930’s had a moral element; they offered several staff welfare services which included pensions as well as dental and health care.
M&S since 2003 have always produced a CSR report which outlined their key targets on how they would do business in a responsible way.
In 2006 the companies new strategy was named Behind the Label, the aim was to bring to light all the products which M&S had put their environmentally friendly policy on it (M&S launches new ‘Look behind the label’ campaign”. Paddington Waterside Partnership – 21 February 2006). Marks and Spencer’s most recent development occurred in 2007 where it took it largest step to date in the corporate social responsibility sector (M&S (B)-palgrave.
com). M&S had decided to launch “Plan A” this report which they produced included over 100 items in which they wished to have completed by 2015.
Items which arose in the report included issues such as waste disposal including ways in which they would reduce packaging as well as recycle and re-use materials more efficiently. Also included where plans to raise the standards in ethical trading for example upgrading labour standards and expand M&S’ fair-trade product range (“Marks & Spencer dives into ethical consumer market” Fletcher, Anthony – 10 March 2006 – Food Navigator. com Europe). Many people would see their plan as unrealistic however they have proved their worth as they have completed many of its promises already.
Charity for M&S was not always a large aspect of their company, they always helped out and supported local communities but never been at the forefront of charitable donations (dated 12 Mar 2010 By Mallen Baker). However since recent changes M&S have set up several partnerships with charities in which they focus on, such as Groundwork and Oxfam. The charity Groundwork is an organisation which specialises in environmental support such as improve parks, play areas and public gardens.
These projects where funded through charging of the plastic bag throughout stores and all profits went to the charity Groundwork (Youtube video Where Does The Change Go? M&S Greener Living Spaces 19 February 2010). Oxfam helped M&S to recycle clothing and with their initiative they were able to create a partnership with them, in reward for customers who trade in old M&S clothes received a five pound voucher to spend in store (Oxfam and M&S celebrate partnership- By Daniel Farey-Jones, campaignlive. co. uk, 06 September 2010).
Marks and Spencer also focus a lot of attention to employees, M&S have set up several schemes within stores to such as the wellbeing plans, the programme trialled a range of mental and physical health initiatives (Plan A. ). As well as looking after staff they also make sure that they comply within legislation on diversity within all their stores. http://www. mallenbaker. net/csr/page. php? Story_ID=2592/An Article from Business Respect, Issue Number 165, dated 12 Mar 2010 By Mallen Baker http://www. palgrave. com/uploadedFiles/M&S%20B. df http://fashiongear. fibre2fashion. com/brand-story/mands/corporate. asp http://plana. marksandspencer. com/about/partnerships http://plana. marksandspencer. com/about/partnerships/groundwork/stories http://www. brandrepublic. com/go/news/article/1026303/oxfam-m-s-celebrate-partnership-animation/ “M&S launches new ‘Look behind the label’ campaign”. Paddington Waterside Partnership – 21 February 2006 “Marks & Spencer dives into ethical consumer market” Fletcher, Anthony – 10 March 2006 – Food Navigator. com (Europe)
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