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Carbon neutral M&S plans door trials

The new M&S store in The Hague is fitted with doors on its refrigerated cases
The new M&S store in The Hague is fitted with doors on its refrigerated cases

UK: A huge reduction in refrigeration emissions has helped Marks & Spencer achieve worldwide carbon neutrality for all its operations.

Information released in its latest Plan A sustainability report reveals that the retailer’s CO2e emissions in the UK and Ireland were 533,000 tonnes, down 24% on its 2006/07 Plan A baseline. This was mainly due to more efficient electricity use, reduced refrigerant leaks and better waste recycling levels.

Absolute emissions levels from refrigeration and  air conditioning were down by 68% at 41,000 tonnes against 2006/07. Allowing for increases in store footage, emissions were down 73% at 2.5 tonnes CO2e per 1,000ft2, against 9.4 tonnes CO2e in 2006/07. This has been achieved by improving maintenance and retrofitting with the lower GWP refrigerant R407A in 1,743 store systems.

The retailer plans to use carbon dioxide in all new refrigeration systems in the UK and Ireland and replace HFCs by 2030. So far, CO2 systems have been installed in 78 stores, five of which are HFC-free.

Although it has been discussed in the past, Marks & Spencer has also pledged to conduct a trial to retrofit doors on fridges in stores by 2015, with recommendations for future roll-out. Doors were installed on refrigerators in its new 4,800m² store in The Hague, Holland and several options have been developed for trial in the UK next year.



Energy use

In all, M&S aims to reduce UK and Ireland store refrigerant carbon emissions by 80% by 2020. Gross global CO2e emissions this year were 566,000 tonnes – the first time M&S has calculated them on a global basis.

Carbon neutrality for all M&S operated and joint venture retail operations across the world has been achieved by reducing emissions, sourcing renewable electricity and buying and retiring carbon offsets.

Energy use in its stores, offices and warehouses in the UK and Ireland is now 34% more efficient at 37.6kWh/ft² (after weather adjustment) against 57.4 kWh in 2006/07.

Worldwide for the group, the calculated energy usage is 28kWh/ft².


The latest sustainable store – the 130,000ft² Monks Cross, York – was opened in April. In addition to living walls and 600 photovoltaic solar roof panels, the store features CO2 refrigeration, heat recovery, LED lighting and refrigeration cases using recycled and re-used materials.

The LED lighting is one of a number of successful features of the store being trialled at four existing Simply Food stores across the UK.


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