M&S offers £5k prize for sustainable ideas

2nd November 2011

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  • Retail and wholesale ,
  • Business & Industry ,
  • Stewardship ,
  • Management ,
  • Corporate governance



Marks & Spencer has launched a competition offering MBA students £5,000 for a new business approach that will lead to greater sustainability in the retail sector

The M&S Sustainable Retailing Challenge is open to teams of students from management schools across the UK and has been created to encourage future managers to consider sustainability in business practice as well as a catalyst for new ideas.

“Sustainability issues are going to be right at the top of the ‘to do’ list for the next generation of business leaders and by sharing knowledge, ideas and expert views, we can learn to innovate and challenge ourselves more,” said Richard Gillies, director of Plan A at M&S, which aims to be world's most sustainable major retailer by 2015.

Competing teams will be set a series of challenges over the coming months focusing on how to tackle social and environmental issues commonly faced by retailers. The first task, for example, asks students to consider the impacts of international procurement in terms of profit, people and the planet.

Run by the Doughty Centre for Corporate Responsibility at Cranfield University, the competition will culminate with five teams presenting their ideas to senior managers at M&S next April, after being mentored by sustainability experts from both academia and business.

Professor David Grayson CBE, director of the Doughty Centre, said: “We are delighted to be collaborating with M&S on this unique competition which is not only a powerful learning experience for MBA students but also an opportunity to showcase their abilities and exchange ideas on sustainability issues with very senior executives at M&S.”

The deadline for the first stage of the competition is 15 November and any students interested in applying should visit www.mandssrc.com.


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