Marks & Spencer’s sustainability supremo Mike Barry is to step down from the role later this month.
Barry, who has led the high street stalwart’s ‘Plan A’ strategy aimed at transforming the business into the “most sustainable retailer in the UK”, will leave the position on June 30 after 14 years in the chain’s sustainability team.
He will be succeeded by M&S’ current head of sustainable business, Carmel McQuaid.
Barry became M&S’ head of sustainable business in 2005 and played a central role in developing and implementing the retailer’s Plan A strategy, which launched in 2007.
The 180-point blueprint set out ambitious targets around waste, water, carbon, human rights and community engagement.
M&S has gone on to achieve zero-waste-to-landfill status, while it has also switched to renewable electricity and become carbon-neutral across all its UK stores, warehouses and offices.
Shoppers are also now able to track the origin of beef, seafood and wool products across M&S’ global supply chains after it created a series of digital maps.
Barry said in a post on LinkedIn: “I’ve had a brilliant blast at M&S; 4,000 working days, not a single one of which was the same as the last.
“[It’s been] a huge honour to work for a great business with amazing people and, most importantly, to have a world-class successor. Now excited to plan the next decade-long dash through the 2020s to build a truly sustainable future.”
An M&S spokesman added: “We’d like to thank Mike for his drive and leadership of our sustainability journey over the last decade and for the significant contribution he’s made to the wider industry.
“We’re delighted that Carmel McQuaid will now continue this work with a focus on how we integrate sustainability into each area of M&S as we build a family of accountable businesses.”