Marks & Spencer To Open First Sustainable Learning Store

Marks & Spencer (MKS.L) plans to open its first ‘Sustainable Learning’ store in the UK next month.

The store is designed to increase M&S’ understanding of sustainable construction techniques and processes.

In 2010 the company made a commitment to open two ‘Sustainable Learning Stores’ a year as part of its goal to become the world’s most sustainable major retailer by 2015 through its sustainability program Plan A.

The new 12,400-square-feet Simply Food store was built on a former brownfield site. It incorporates a host of sustainable and innovative design and construction features, such as:

  • 100% of the construction waste produced in the building of the store has been recycled
  • M&S expects 100% of the timber used in the building will be FSC certified, a first for the company
  • All the bricks have been reclaimed from an old mill
  • Harvested rainwater will supply all the toilets and irrigate the store’s green ‘living wall’, reducing water costs by up to 40%
  • The store will also be heated by expelled heat from its refrigeration units, helping to reduce the its carbon output by 23%
  • A sedum roof and green ‘living wall’ will create wildlife habitats as well as insulate the building and act as a pollution filter
  • In total, 62 types of plants are being planted on or around the store
  • Electric car charging points will be available in the car park
  • LED screens in the store will give customers real time local transport information

M&S said all employees at the store will be fully trained to understand its environmental features and will be encouraged to share this information with customers.

 "Each of these sustainable features is remarkable in its own right, however by bringing them all together in one development, something that is rarely done by retailers, we will achieve a whole that is worth far more than the sum of its parts. The learnings we have taken from building the store, coupled with those we will make over its lifetime, will help us achieve our goal of becoming the world’s most sustainable major retailer by 2015," Clem Constantine, Director of Property & Store Development at Marks & Spencer, said.

The new store is set to achieve a BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method) rating of Excellent, and has received a Considerate Constructors Scheme score of 37.5 out of 40, making it one of the most sustainable retail outlets in the UK.

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