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M&S partners with Hubbub to encourage customers to live lower carbon lives following Plan A reset

Wed 05 Jan 2022 | 01:47 pm GMT
Rob Hutchins | Products of Change Writer

M&S has partnered with the environmental charity Hubbub

Marks & Spencer has partnered with the UK environmental charity, Hubbub to launch a two month long Sparking Change National Challenge to encourage its customers to take up lower carbon diets this year and reduce their food waste. The Challenge invites the retailer’s some 14 million Sparks customers to take up a lower carbon diet, feel healthier, and potentially save money, all while benefiting the planet. The two month campaign will offer its customers access to recipes, practical tips, and a Sparks Live cook-along event hosted by M&S chef, Chris Baber alongside a surprise celebrity guest. Participants will also be supported with a range of resources designed to help them make more sustainable meals from scratch. This January will see M&S provide new ideas on the best ways to incorporate more protein from plants into participants’ diets. Sparks customers will receive discounts on M&S’ meat-free Plant Kitchen range every Monday during the month, as the company joins forces with Meat Free Monday to encourage families to go plant-based for one day a week. February will see the focus on More Taste, Less Waste, enabling customers to cook healthy meals while reducing food waste. Customers will also receive tips on batch cooking, storing food to make it last longer, and how to best use leftovers. The campaign launches following a recent M&S Family Matters Report in which it was highlighted that the environment is a growing concern for two-thirds of families in the UK. Almost half of UK families believe we should be eating less meat and over a third say they have already made the changes to the food they buy to take account of climate change. In response to the growing concern, M&S has partnered with the award-winning environmental charity Hubbub to create a nine-week behaviour change pilot involving almost 100 customer and colleague families from across the country. The Sparking Change pilot focused on four areas – protein from plants, cutting food waste, cooking from scratch, and sustainable living beyond the kitchen. Sophia Linn, nutritionist at M&S, said: “Eating more sustainably needn’t be complicated or expensive – there are simple steps we can all take to reduce our impact on the plante. Our Sparking Change Challenge is designed to help customers make small changes that can easily be incorporated into their day to day lives and make it stick for the long term. “We want to help our customers explore and enjoy more sustainable ways of living and our Plant Kitchen range means any swaps customers make aren’t compromising on quality, affordability or taste.” Mark Breen, senior creative partner at Hubbub, added: “The lasting impact for families who have already taken part in Sparking Change has been incredible. Reducing food waste and eating less meat and more plant-based foods are two of the simplest ways we can all do our bit to help the environment.” M&S recently reset Plan A, its sustainability programme, to have an unrelenting focus on becoming a fully net zero business by 2040. The Sparking Change research pilot and National Challenge is part of the retailer’s ongoing commitment to innovate and invest in products and services that help customers enjoy lower carbon lives. The retailer kicked off the New Year with a call upon all customers planning to clear out their wardrobes this month to do so by donating their preloved clothing to Oxfam via its long-standing Shwopping scheme. Following a refresh of Shwopping in September, this New Year marked the first time that customers had been rewarded with a treat for donating items from their post-Christmas clear-out. Donating to charity shops and recycling topped the list of customer responses when they were asked what they were planning to do with the clothes they clear out this New Year. However, one in five still stated that they planned on putting their cleared-out clothing in the bin. In response, M&S is encouraging customers to donate to its shwopping boxes good quality, clean clothing that Oxfam can sell to raise money for its work fighting poverty around the world. Items that customers can give to Oxfam via the Shwop boxes includes shoes, handbags, jewellery, belts, hats, scarves, and bras – and these can be from any retailer. Carmel McQuaid, head of sustainable business for M&S, said: “We know customers are busy and we’re passionate about helping them live lower carbon lives by offering simple solutions that make it easy. Reselling, reusing, and recycling clothing is a simple way that we can all make a difference and our long-standing shwopping scheme with Oxfam is a brilliant programme that rewards customers for doing their bit.” The scheme forms an important part of the reset Plan A that was set out by M&S as a multi-stakeholder plan spanning customers, colleagues, suppliers, and the wider industry to drive reduction in its Scope 3 emissions. M&S has since been working at pace to bolster existing commitments and introduce new ones, including trialling clothing rental with Hire Street. The retailer will be working throughout 2022 to drive carbon reduction and to have important conversations with customers through its ongoing Look Behind the Label campaign.
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