Carbon Neutral Lingerie a Success for M&S

Last April M&S launched a range of carbon neutral lingerie under the Autograph collection, called ‘Leaves’. Now they have announced that their Leaves collection multi-way bra has been a best seller. M&S have hailed the success to customer’s desire for high quality and ethical values, but do they have any proof for this? Have they asked their customers why they chose to buy the carbon neutral bra? No, I don’t think so. They are just going on the fact that the bra has sold 250 units a day across the UK.

The bra is very pretty and costs £22, not a bad price for M&S who’s other multi-way bras at Autograph retail for £18 to £22. They did have a silk mix style on sale for £35 (currently reduced to £28) as well. Would the sales figures for the Leaves range be any different without the ethical credentials? I don’t think they would vary much to be honest, although there may be people who like the idea of a carbon neutral bra.

The range is made in a Sri Lankan factory which supports the M&S eco model. The factory produces 30% fewer emissions, and the remaining 70% is offset through local rainforest replantation. The factory has achieved a 30% reduction in carbon emissions by using renewable energy and waste initiatives. They have worked in partnership with nine local farmers to plant 6000 trees in desolate land between Kanneliya and Polgahkanda.

The range supports the climate change initiative of M&S’s Plan A promise to make business operations carbon neutral by 2012. Find out more about Plan A here.

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Timberland Carbon Neutral

Timberland have a strong CSR commitment. In 2008 they launched their long term CSR strategy, based around 4 ‘pillars’, these being Energy, Product, Workplace and Service. Their main aim under the Energy pillar was to become carbon neutral by 2010. Sounds great doesn’t it! But for such a large global company to become carbon neutral, seems too good to be true? However, closer inspection shows that this commitment only covers their direct carbon emissions from their own factories, shops and offices, which is in fact, only 4% of their overall carbon footprint. The other 96% comes from the carbon footprint associated with their supply chain. Misleading points like this make me wonder whether it’s more for the good of their image than the environment, however, every little helps! It is good that they are doing something rather than nothing, setting the wheels in motion. Of course it is now the end of 2010 and Timberland haven’t quite reached their carbon neutral goal, due to ‘increase in air travel caused by the rebound in our business’. It’s worth keeping up with their developments at http://community.timberland.com/Corporate-Responsibility/csr

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