With 57.2 out of 100 points, Marks & Spencer is the fourth best performing company and leading the way. Marks & Spencer stands out as the company that has made the biggest improvement between the 2016 and 2017 ranking – in particular in traceability.
Marks & Spencer indicates that unsustainably produced cotton ‘leaves a significant environmental and social footprint’ and has set a target of sourcing 100% cotton from more sustainable sources by 2019. Marks & Spencer addresses HHPs and biodiversity issues in cotton cultivation mainly through membership of BCI. Water use, water pollution, recycling and human rights issues receive more attention in its corporate policies. Marks & Spencer is one of the few companies with a sourcing policy in place that addresses human rights issues in the raw material production stage. The company works with its suppliers to ensure adequate arrangements are in place to safeguard rights of vulnerable groups such as smallholders. Besides individual policies and activities, Marks & Spencer is involved in a wide range of cotton sustainability initiatives including BCI, Textile Exchange and Cotton 2040's Building Demand for Sustainable Cotton Working Group.
Marks & Spencer is almost halfway to achieving its target of sourcing 100% more sustainable cotton by 2019. 49% of the cotton used in its products was more sustainable in 2016, amounting to 23,000 MT of cotton lint. Approximately 95% of this was met through sourcing Better Cotton with the remainder from organic, recycled or Fairtrade cotton.
Marks & Spencer published its annual use of cotton (50,000 MT lint) and a list of countries of origin of this cotton (India, China, Pakistan, Turkey, Brazil, USA, Africa and Australia). The company also published a list of tier-1 suppliers through an interactive map but does not disclose information about tier-2 and tier-3 suppliers.