Julia Hailes MBE


" I wear many hats, but they're all green."

Marks & Spencer

I first started working with Marks & Spencer in 2002 when I was commissioned to do a report on sustainability issues relating to the food sector. And I’ve worked with them on numerous projects since, including:

Expert Advisory Panel on Packaging
Carrier bags fact sheet and video
Suppliers conference on Plan A
Writing packaging fact sheets

  • Judging M&S your green idea competition (May10)

    The £100,000 winning prize will need to be spent on greening an organisation of your choice, such as a school or a charity.   The Your Green Idea competition was launched alongside M&S's announcement that it aims to become the world's most sustainable retailer by 2015...

  • M&S Suppliers conference on Plan A (Mar10)

    M&S suppliers came to be briefed on the M&S's groundbreaking Plan A initiative.   Sir Stuart Rose announced that M&S planned to be the world's most sustainable retailer by 2015...

  • Expert Panel on Packaging (2008-2010)

    Since 2008 I have sat on a expert advisory panel on packaging at M&S.    This is run by Rowland Hill, Helene Roberts and Mark Caul from M&S...

  • M&S Plan A

    M&S launched their Plan A scheme in 2006.   CEO, Stuart Rose heads the team and they have a very impressive list of actions and initiatives covering issues across the board from transport, packaging and re-usable hangers to food waste, refrigeration and laundry labels in their clothes...

  • Packaging - Consumer fact sheets - 2008

    Public concern about over-packaging so often misses the point that we should be looking at how to reduce the environmental impact of producing, distributing, storing, selling and consuming food, rather than the amount of packaging waste we have to throw away. Consider the fact that overall the carbon emissions from wasted packaging is one tenth of that for food waste...

E for Good

In 2011, I set up E For Good, with Melinda Watson .We’re campaigning to reduce the amount of electrical waste (e-waste) as well as setting up systems to increase repair, reuse and efficient recycling. This is the focus of my work in 2012.

Hot Topics

Baby Business Campaigning Carrier bags Cleaning Communications Communities Consumers Detergents Disposables E-waste Eco-renovation Education Energy Food Government Green building Household M&S Media Nappies P&G Packaging Plastic bags Plastics Recycling Schools Supermarkets Sustainability Waste

  Older Entries >>


Judging M&S your green idea competition (May10)

The £100,000 winning prize will need to be spent on greening an organisation of your choice, such as a school or a charity.  The Your Green Idea competition was launched alongside M&S’s announcement that it aims to become the world’s most sustainable retailer by 2015.  I’ve been asked to be a judge alongside M&S Chairman, Sir Stuart Rose and Jonathan Porritt, former director of Friends of the Earth and founder of Forum for the Future.  There’s an as yet un-named celebrity, who’ll also be sitting on the judging panel.  Entries have to be submitted by May 16th.


M&S Suppliers conference on Plan A (Mar10)

M&S suppliers came to be briefed on the M&S’s groundbreaking Plan A initiative.  Sir Stuart Rose announced that M&S planned to be the world’s most sustainable retailer by 2015.   I was asked to talk to packaging suppliers about key issues for them.  One particular them I covered in my presentation was the switch in emphasis away from measuring the environmental impact of packaging from weight to carbon.


Expert Panel on Packaging (2008-2010)

Since 2008 I have sat on a expert advisory panel on packaging at M&S.   This is run by Rowland Hill, Helene Roberts and Mark Caul from M&S.   Other panel members include Jane Bickerstaffe from Incpen (Industry Council for Packaging and the Environment) and Mark Barthel from WRAP (Material Change for a Better Environment).

Changing pizza packaging at M&S (see picture) has saved 800 tonnes of waste, which is the equivalent to all the packaging for fruit and veg


M&S Plan A

M&S launched their Plan A scheme in 2006.  CEO, Stuart Rose heads the team and they have a very impressive list of actions and initiatives covering issues across the board from transport, packaging and re-usable hangers to food waste, refrigeration and laundry labels in their clothes.   I’ve been to the progress reports for Plan since it started and in January 2008 I wrote an article about it for the Telegraph.

2009 I asked Stuart Rose whether he thought M&S could improve on its communications to shareholders about Plan A (I think they could!)   I’ve come across a number of people who are asking why M&S is ‘wasting’ their time on environmental initiatives whilst the share price tumbles.  Stuart Rose was adamant that Plan A has been good for the bottom line.  He said that it might seem tempting to backslide on the commitments made in better times but that he had no intention of doing this.


Packaging – Consumer fact sheets – 2008

Public concern about over-packaging so often misses the point that we should be looking at how to reduce the environmental impact of producing, distributing, storing, selling and consuming food, rather than the amount of packaging waste we have to throw away.

Consider the fact that overall the carbon emissions from wasted packaging is one tenth of that for food waste.  So it’s much more important to prevent food being thrown away than to reduce packaging.

Here’s the consumer fact sheet I wrote for M&S on packaging in 2008.

And here’s a more technical briefing sheet aimed at business, government and NGOs, that I also wrote for M&S in 2008 on packaging issues.   This explains M&S strategy, approach and policy recommendations in more detail.  It hasn’t been published by the company, so the only place to find it is on my website.


  Older Entries >>