Marks & Spencer have announced plans to open its most sustainable UK store - right here in Sheffield.
The store will include electric car charging points in the car park, LED screens in store with real-time local transport information, harvested rainwater supplies in the toilets and a green ‘living wall’ to create wildlife habitats.
Heating will be sourced from expelled heat from the store’s refrigeration units and sun pipes will bring natural lighting onto the shop floor.
In addition, all the bricks used in the building have been reclaimed from an old mill and the polished concrete floors will remove the need for additional floor covering.
The company have said the new 12,400 sq ft store, which is due to open in April, will be the first of a number of planned ‘Sustainable Learning’ stores that “will further increase M&S’ understanding of sustainable construction techniques and processes”.
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.
“This store represents a big milestone in our sustainable construction programme as we are installing a host of unique technologies and features,” said Clem Constantine, director of property and store development at Marks & Spencer
“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.”
Paul King, CEO of the UK Green Building Council, said companies like M&S have a crucial role in driving sustainability in the construction and property sector. “This new M&S store at Ecclesall Road is an impressive achievement, not only for its host of environmental features and the positive social effect it will have on the local community, but also the lessons that will be learnt for both M&S and the wider construction industry.