British multinational retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) has announced a series of new investments as it aims to achieve net zero by 2040. 

The retailer is dedicating £1m ($1.2m) to alter the diets of pasture-grazed cows in its milk pool to reduce methane emissions significantly. 

A first in the UK market, the initiative involves collaboration with all 40 of its M&S select dairy farmers.  

M&S estimates that the initiative will remove 11,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually from the atmosphere – an 8.4% reduction in the carbon footprint of M&S’s RSPCA-assured core fresh milk. 

The retailer has also launched a £1m Plan A Accelerator Fund and established partnerships with long-standing and new suppliers to implement net zero projects.

The fund will support eight initiatives in 2024 in recycling, energy, technology and water. 

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One of the first to be funded involves a trial asking customers to donate their unworn clothes to Oxfam.

M&S CEO Stuart Machin said: “I talk a lot about the ‘magic of M&S’ – and a key part of this is our commitment to innovation. It’s in our DNA and, along with our unique model of own-brand, long-term supplier partnerships, it’s how we deliver the quality and trust our customers expect from us.” 

“By turning our obsession with innovation towards climate change and tapping into the entrepreneurial spirit of our suppliers, we can turbo-charge our drive to be a net zero business across all our operations and entire supply chain by 2040. I’m excited by the big difference these small changes could make to some of the toughest climate challenges we face.” 

In April 2024 M&S announced an investment of £89m ($112m) to increase pay for its UK staff.