New ’sustainable learning’ outlets to provide blueprint for future stores

M&S is integrating sustainable construction techniques into future store builds – as it bids to become the world’s most sustainable retailer by 2015.

The popular chain will open its most eco-friendly store in Sheffield next month, which has been built from 100% recycled material.

The Ecclesall Road store is the first of two “sustainable learning” shops the group plans to open. The eco-friendly measures are part of an overall green programme launched by the group in 2007.

M&S says the learning shops will help deduce “the most appropriate building techniques” – thus contributing to its overall store building programme.

Built on a brownfield site, the Sheffield store has been constructed to achieve a Breeam Excellent rating. Bricks for the project came from a disused mill and the floors are laid with polished concrete.

Heat supply will be sourced from the stores’ refrigeration facilities while rainwater will be recycled for the toilets.

Clem Constantine, director of property and store development with M&S, said: “This store represents a big milestone in our sustainable construction programme as we are installing a host of unique technologies and features.

“The learnings we have taken from building the store will help us achieve our goal of becoming the world’s most sustainable major retailer by 2015.”

Paul King, chief executive of the Green Building Council, said: “Sustainability is increasingly important in the construction and property sector and major companies like M&S have a crucial role in driving that process, particularly given the relationship not just with suppliers, but also with consumers.”