Marks & Spencer calls for decisive action at Copenhagen

by Search Gate staff. Published Thu 03 Dec 2009 10:33
M&S; director Richard Gillies with DECC Minister Joan Ruddock

High Street retail chain Marks & Spencer has presented a patchwork quilt containing thousands of messages of support for decisive action at next week’s Climate Change Summit to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

The quilt, an online campaign hosted at, invited customers, employees, investors, suppliers and anyone concerned for the wellbeing of future generations to create an individual patchwork with a personal image and a message to those taking part in the Copenhagen negotiations.

Over 5,000 people contributed to the website including patches from Twiggy, Myleene Klass, Jemima Khan, Geri Halliwell, Tom Aikens, Philip Glenister, Noemie Lenoir, Zac Goldsmith and Sir Ian Botham as well as top executives from charities such as WWF and Oxfam.

Some of the key themes from the patches were calls to take action for the sake of the next generation; demands to protect the beauty of the planet and its wildlife and pleas for more action and less talking.

Richard Gillies, Director of Plan A and Sustainable Business at M&S;, presented a physical version of the quilt and a full list of patches to DECC Minister Joan Ruddock at a meeting yesterday.

He says: “Our patchwork quilt shows the strength and depth of feeling that a mainstream audience has about Copenhagen. The message to those involved in the talks is that the M&S; family is engaged in the climate change debate and is demanding action.”

Joan Ruddock, DECC Minister, says: “Our delegation heads off to Copenhagen later this week determined to succeed. During tough moments of the negotiations, these words of support and clear calls for action from people right across the UK will help to strengthen our resolve to ensure we get an ambitious, fair and effective deal. As one of the patches so eloquently says ‘Together we can do it’.“

The physical patchwork quilt features a selection of 35 patches that represent a broad range of comments. It was made from clothes from Oxfam charity stores and the photographs were printed directly from the online patchwork onto squares which were stitched onto the quilt.

Plan A is Marks & Spencer’s 100-point, five year eco plan to tackle a wide range of environmental and social challenges. Launched in 2007, the plan is organised around five pillars which represent the key areas where M&S; believes it can make its business both more sustainable and kinder to the environment.

These five areas are: Climate Change, Waste, Sustainable Raw Materials, Health and being a Fair Partner.

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