M&S underlines commitment to 100 per cent renewables

Marks & Spencer has become the latest company to join the increasingly high profile RE100 initiative, stating that it will source 100 per cent of its power from renewable sources.

The move takes the number of firms signed up to the scheme to 19, after Unilever and Indian technology giant Infosys also made similar commitments this week.

A spokeswoman for The Climate Group, which launched RE100 alongside climate reporting organisation CDP, said it was expecting to see more high-profile multinationals sign up to the initiative in the months building up to the Paris Climate Summit in December.

M&S has sourced power for its UK operations from renewable sources since 2012, a move that has helped it deliver emissions reductions of 19 per cent since the launch of its Plan A sustainability strategy in 2007. However, a spokesman for the company said the new commitment means it will now move to source 100 per cent renewable power for all its international operations.

The latest pledge also builds on the company's Plan A commitment to improve energy efficiency in its UK and Republic of Ireland operations by 50 per cent by 2020 and source half its gas from certified green bio-methane sources.

"Tackling climate change is critical for our business, and for all businesses," said Mike Barry, Director of Sustainable Business Plan A, in a statement. "We developed Plan A with this in mind - which includes a commitment to sourcing 100 per cent of our directly procured UK and ROI electricity from renewable sources. Joining RE100 gives us an opportunity to share what we have learned and encourage other businesses to switch to renewable energy."

Emily Farnworth, RE100 campaign director at The Climate Group, said M&S's involvement was part of a wider trend.

"We're getting a lot of interest in RE100," she said. "Science tells us that bold business action is needed to address climate change, and working towards a goal to be 100 per cent powered by renewable energy is one way that companies can make a real difference. With the cost of renewables falling around the world, 100 per cent clean power is increasingly within reach, and businesses are meeting this target more quickly."

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This article, including the image, has been adapted from an article published by Business Green.