The challenge: creating a common understanding of the circular economy
While identifying circular economy opportunities at M&S its ‘Plan A’ sustainability team realised they needed help to:
- develop a common language around the circular economy
- explain in practical terms how M&S could put circular ways of working into practice across its four business units - food, clothing and home, property and central procurement.
How we helped: developing tailored guidance for different business units
Bioregional worked closely with the Plan A lead for each business unit to:
- Identify the current level of understanding of circular economy within the business unit and what was already happening (if anything) and summarise key learning
- Re-frame circular economy thinking to ensure it was both relevant for the business unit and understandable more widely across M&S
- Identify relevant opportunities within the business unit to apply circular economy principles across the life cycle (e.g. from design right through to a product's end of life
- Explore relevant innovative business models applicable to the M&S context
- Research inspirational case studies of current circular activity within the M&S supply chain and retail operations, and across the retail sector more generally.
We then created circular economy guides for each main business unit. As well as explaining why the circular economy is so important to M&S and its suppliers and what the business opportunities are, each guide sets out a framework for new circular ways of working. All of this using a common language that everyone could understand.
The impact: a business-wide understanding of how to implement the circular economy
We helped M&S define the path forward for its circular economy journey, with staff in different business units better equipped to explore its opportunities.