M&S challenges start-ups to help it become net zero

M&S challenges start-ups to help it become net zero
Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events

Posted: Wed 8th Jun 2022

Small businesses are being encouraged to come up with new ideas to assist retailer M&S in reaching net zero carbon emissions across its operations by 2035 and entire value supply chain by 2040.

In partnership with innovation and investment firm True, the business is looking for ways to encourage more sustainable customer behaviours and achieve further efficiencies in its agricultural supply chains.

M&S will choose one idea for each brief for a trial, with the possibility of further rollout by the retail chain.

A survey of 5,000 consumers included in the 2022 M&S sustainability report found 65% are concerned about their family's impact on the environment, 53% are planning a lifestyle change and 41% have made changes to the food they buy.

M&S's Stuart Ramage said: 

"Calling all start-ups, we're on the hunt for your latest innovation or technology, which will help us reduce our impact on tomorrow's world.

"In return, we can turn an idea into reality and offer a trial backed by the scale of M&S as a global retailer, with support from our dedicated Ignite innovation team along the way. We're really excited to hear all of your ideas as we continue to drive a culture of innovation across M&S."

You can enter the sustainable customer behaviours challenge and the sustainable agritech challenge. The deadline for applications is 00:01 on Friday 1 July 2022.

The M&S competition is the latest example of a large chain challenging small businesses to create products or services to improve sustainability.

Last month, environmental charity Hubbub and coffee shop business Starbucks launched a £1 million competition providing grants of up to £300,000 for ideas that make it easier for customers to use alternatives to single-use packaging.


Plan it with Purpose, from Enterprise Nation

Plan it with Purpose

A programme designed to help owners of small and medium-sized businesses develop a better understanding of environmental and social issues in the UK. Visit the Plan it with Purpose hub

Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events
I'm a freelance content creator and event host who helps small businesses and the organisations that support them. I'm also Enterprise Nation's Local Leader for Bristol. I have 20 years of experience as a small business journalist having interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurs from famous names like Sir Richard Branson and Deborah Meaden to the founders behind brand new start-ups. I've worked for a range of leading small business publications and support groups, most recently as head of content at Enterprise Nation where I was responsible for the prolific output of content on the company's blog and social media. I now freelance for Enterprise Nation as the website's news reporter and as the host of the Small Business sessions podcast. I'm based in Bristol where I run and host regular events with the local small business community in my role as Enterprise Nation's Local Leader for Bristol. I also have strong connections with other major business organisations in the south west region. In total, I've hosted over 100 events including conferences with an audience of hundreds for international brands like Xero and Facebook and live web chats from inside 10 Downing Street. With my partner, I co-run Lifestyle District, a lifestyle blog focused on culture, art, theatre and photography.

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