Embedding corporate responsibility and sustainability: Marks & Spencer

Embedding corporate responsibility and sustainability: Marks & Spencer Purpose – The British retailer Marks & Spencer aspires to be the world's most sustainable major global retailer by 2015. This paper seeks to examine how the company is embedding sustainability. Design/methodology/approach – The paper is written as part of an ongoing investigation into how businesses do this. It is based on direct dialogue with corporate sustainability specialists inside and outside the company; participation in company stakeholders' briefings held regularly since the launch of Marks & Spencer's Plan A for sustainability in January 2007; and analysis by the company's own corporate sustainability specialists about how they are embedding. Findings – This case demonstrates that, in order to speed their journey, Marks & Spencer have aligned sustainability with core strategy. Top leadership is driving the strategy, which is overseen by the board. M&S have made a very public commitment: Plan A with measurable targets, timescales and accountabilities. The strategy is being integrated into every business function and strategic business unit; and involves suppliers, employees and increasingly customers. To enable implementation, the company is developing its knowledge‐management and training; engaging with wider stakeholders including investors; building partnerships and collaborations; and has evolved its specialist sustainability team into an internal change‐management consultancy and coach/catalyst for continuous improvement. Originality/value – The value of the case study is that it provides an analysis of how one company, which has been active in progressing corporate sustainability, has evolved its approach in recent years. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Management Development Emerald Publishing

Embedding corporate responsibility and sustainability: Marks & Spencer

Journal of Management Development, Volume 30 (10): 10 – Oct 25, 2011

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0262-1711
DOI
10.1108/02621711111182510
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The British retailer Marks & Spencer aspires to be the world's most sustainable major global retailer by 2015. This paper seeks to examine how the company is embedding sustainability. Design/methodology/approach – The paper is written as part of an ongoing investigation into how businesses do this. It is based on direct dialogue with corporate sustainability specialists inside and outside the company; participation in company stakeholders' briefings held regularly since the launch of Marks & Spencer's Plan A for sustainability in January 2007; and analysis by the company's own corporate sustainability specialists about how they are embedding. Findings – This case demonstrates that, in order to speed their journey, Marks & Spencer have aligned sustainability with core strategy. Top leadership is driving the strategy, which is overseen by the board. M&S have made a very public commitment: Plan A with measurable targets, timescales and accountabilities. The strategy is being integrated into every business function and strategic business unit; and involves suppliers, employees and increasingly customers. To enable implementation, the company is developing its knowledge‐management and training; engaging with wider stakeholders including investors; building partnerships and collaborations; and has evolved its specialist sustainability team into an internal change‐management consultancy and coach/catalyst for continuous improvement. Originality/value – The value of the case study is that it provides an analysis of how one company, which has been active in progressing corporate sustainability, has evolved its approach in recent years.

Journal

Journal of Management DevelopmentEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 25, 2011

Keywords: Plan A; Corporate sustainability; Embedding sustainability; Engaging stakeholders; Sustainability through value‐chain; Shared value; Business administration; Knowledge Management

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