Marks & Spencer’s stunning destination store in Ellesmere Port has helped the retailer gain a first for going green.

The company has become the first retailer to receive a triple award from the Carbon Trust which independently certifies firms which successfully measure, manage and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, water use and waste on a year-on-year basis.

Since launching its ‘Plan A’  eco and ethical programme, M&S says it has achieved zero waste to landfill, become a carbon neutral company, reduced energy use in its stores, offices and warehouses by almost a third, reduced store refrigerant gas carbon emissions by 60%, used two billion fewer single-use carrier bags in its food halls and tackled water-use in its stores and supply chain.

At Cheshire Oaks, the store has been highlighted by the UK’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board, as a ‘star project’.

After its first year the landmark building saw:

a 42% reduction in energy use compared to an equivalent store, against a target of 30%.

40% fewer carbon emissions than an equivalent store against a target of 35%.

Less than 1°C of heat lost overnight in winter due to excellent building insulation compared to 9°C in other stores.

A third of the store’s water provided by an innovating rain harvesting system against a target of 25%

 Improved biodiversity on the site with almost 90 plant species such as white willow and wild cherry.

Clem Constantine, director of property at M&S, said: “There’s a clear business case for managing and reducing our own impact on the environment.

“It saves money, helps us become more efficient and better prepares M&S for the future.”

Tom Delay, chief executive of the Carbon Trust, said:“M&S has a well-deserved reputation as a leading business when it comes to sustainability.”

Justine Brook, M&S Cheshire Oaks store manager, said: “We are thrilled that the Carbon Trust has awarded M&S the triple award of certification for achievements in carbon, water,  and waste reduction.

“Our eco-store at Cheshire Oaks enjoyed fantastic first year results and we are proud to be able to contribute to M&S’s reputation as a leading sustainable retailer.”