Marks & Spencer is a publicly owned company with around 290,000 shareholders, many of whom are customers, and present and past employees. The majority of products sold in the retail stores are own brands (2006, Corporate social responsibility report, www2.marksandspencer.com).
Marks & Spencer was named as the leading UK retailer responsible for fish sourcing by Greenpeace, and Marine Conservation Society. Similarly, RSPCA recognised them for their animal welfare policy and launch of a range of clothing made from Fairtrade certified cotton in clothing. Marks & Spencer has been included in the Dow Jones Sustainability and FTSE 4 Goods index.
They converted all the roast, ground, and instant coffee to Fairtrade, and became the first major UK high street retailer to launch a range of clothing made from Fairtrade certified cotton (An extract from the Chairman's speech on the occasion of CSR) (Marks & Spencer-The Company, www2.marksandspencer.com [Accessed 20 August 2006]).2
Marks & Spencer work to protect the environment and animal welfare, and have made huge contributions in the development of community services in countries where they have their presence. The company's hard work has seen them included in the Dow Jones Sustainability and FTSE 4 Good Indexes and ranked equal 20th with a score of 95% in Business in the Community's Corporate Responsibility Index (Marks & Spencer-The Company). They manage CSR under Product, People and Places.
Some of their achievements in this direction are listed below:
1. Marks & Spencer was the 1st major UK retailer to start selling Fairtrade cotton clothing.
2. 68% of M&S managers are women and 14% of all our employees are from ethnic minority backgrounds.
3. 9% less carbon dioxide emissions compared to 2002/03 from energy used to power M&S stores and offices.
4. 90% of M&S stores have had HCFC gases replaced in refrigeration systems.
5. 97% of customers said that CSR was important in recent research.
6. 90% of our food that contained hydrogenated fats and oils have had them removed.
7. 102,000 days training for M&S people.
8. 6,000 people have benefited from our 'Marks & Start' work experience programme
9. All the tea and coffee drinks served in our Caf Revive are Fairtrade.
10. Recognised for their fish sourcing behaviour, named global Seafood Champion by the Seafood