Over the last few years major European retailers have adopted solar as a key energy source for their expansive networks of outlets and distribution centres. As part of their bid to source 50% of their energy from renewables by 2020, Marks and Spencers installed the largest single installation of solar panels in the UK at their distribution centre in Castle Donnington.
Now they have gone one step further and formed a new entity - M&S Energy Society - to partner with non-profit community-focussed group Energy4All. Their intention is to invite investments to build solar panels on 9 of their stores and subsequently purchase the solar power from their owners. Profits will go towards helping local energy related initiatives.
They join fellow retail giants Sainsbury's, B&Q and Ikea in focussing on a solar lead energy strategy. Ikea in particular are spending 1bn on renewable sources to fulfil their aim of generating all energy requirements from clean sources by 2020.
Read more about this in the Guardian's detailed report..