A great initiative from M&S, as it looks to follow up its rightly-heralded Plan A sustainability campaign with its own Community Renewables investment project. M&S must be particularly applauded for putting the sustainability front and centre in their outward messaging, and along with the likes of Kingfisher, seem to embed these issues at the heart of their businesses.
Early on in the days of community energy, we discussed what a "community" might mean. Nowadays, we first of all picture our towns, cities and local communities as the first port of call for renewable energy projects, but I recall hearing from the Eden Project 3 years ago its staff community energy scheme, in which its team members could buy shares in Eden's own rooftop installations. Following this pioneering approach, which other "communities" might be see creating successful projects, where the only pre-requisites might be an existing sense of collective purpose and a sharing of values? Groups of employees are the obvious starting point, but what about loyalty scheme members, congregations, festival-goers....an exciting, wider opportunity.
M&S is launching an exciting new venture, with priority access to M&S Energy customers*. M&S Energy Society is an opportunity for you to invest from £100 in solar panel installations on M&S stores nationwide, with a targeted annual return of 5%** on your shares during the lifetime of your investment. Why invest? The Society will generate revenue for its investors and the community. This unique opportunity allows you to enjoy yearly financial benefits**, plus the satisfaction of knowing that you’re making a difference by helping to source energy responsibly.