Marks & Spencer Gives £300,000 To Community Eco-Projects
Marks & Spencer has awarded a total of £300,000 to 25 renewable community energy projects across the UK.
Now in its third year, the M&S Energy Community Fund supports a variety of non-profit community organisations such as sports clubs, schools and local libraries in their bid to 'go green'.
This year’s winning projects were chosen by a public vote of over 100,000 public votes, beating 156 competitors. Each will receive up to £12,000 of funding for their local clean energy projects.
Some 21 out of the 25 winners were determined by the public voting tally, while a further four projects, considered to be the most innovative or inspiring, were chosen by a panel of expert judges.
This included broadcaster and Red Dwarf star, Robert Llewellyn and former prize winner Becky Vipond from Toxeth Food Central. The judging panel was hosted by Crowdfunder chairman, Rob Love at River Cottage, Dorset.
The four judges’ prize winners included a self-sufficient energy village movement; LED lighting for a community youth project; solar panels at a women’s aid centre; and LED lighting at a primary school.
“We were bowled over by the innovation and creativity displayed by this year’s community projects. The fund is a great way for us to connect with some brilliantly innovative energy projects and reach our goal to help at least 200 communities to reduce their carbon footprint as part of Plan A 2025,” said Jonathan Hazeldine, head of M&S Energy.
In June, M&S announced the launch of its Plan A 2025 initiative to become more eco-friendly and tackle issues facing retailers and society. As part of the plan, M&S Energy have committed to helping at least 200 communities to reduce their carbon footprint.
This year, the voting process included the opportunity to donate to a project through crowdfunding, which resulted in an extra £26,000 of funding.
Rob Love, Crowdfunder Chairman said, “It’s fantastic to see that the quality of projects coming through the M&S Energy Community Energy Fund continue to improve year on year. We were truly amazed at the level of engagement in the voting process from the public, who are clearly emotionally and physically invested in making these ideas a reality. This made the decision-making process at the judging panel tougher than ever! All of the projects are winners, and at Crowdfunder we will continue to support great community energy projects so that they too can come to life.”
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Kevin Duggan. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.