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."
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
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