Archive - 2013

Valpak help M&S meet French environmental compliance obligations

by Valpak | Jan 28, 2013
Valpak helped Marks & Spencer, one of the UK’s leading retailers, to ensure that their flagship store in Paris was fully compliant with French environmental legislation before it opened in November 2011.

Opening a new store poses a lot of challenges for retailers. They must ensure that the store meets the stringent requirements of high quality retailing and smooth running operations and services expected by their customers. This is tough enough when opening stores in the UK, but when opening a new store overseas there are many other challenges to tackle.

The Packaging, WEEE and Batteries Regulations differ in each country which means that organisations must take time to research and understand their requirements in each country. They also need to take into account:

  • Language barriers
  • Currency differences
  • Additional pieces of environmental legislation

Understanding all of the requirements under these laws is essential. If certain requirements are overlooked this could result in loss of brand reputation through prosecution and bad publicity.

Marks & Spencer faced these challenges when opening their new flagship store in France. Having placed a lot of investment into their award winning Plan A commitments, being fully compliant in France was a must for them. Therefore, they approached their UK compliance scheme, Valpak, for help and advice.

Valpak’s International Compliance Team produced a comprehensive action plan for Marks & Spencer, which detailed:

  • Their obligations in France
  • Data that would be required
  • Regulatory timescales for providing data submissions
  • Costs of becoming compliant in France

Following the production of this action plan Marks & Spencer took the decision to fully outsource their compliance in France to Valpak. This included:

  • Registering Marks & Spencer with the appropriate French authorities and compliance scheme
  • Collating data submissions for Marks & Spencer and submitting them to the appropriate authority by the required regulatory timescales

Outsourcing the administrative burden of international compliance to Valpak allowed Marks & Spencer to focus on the delivery of a high quality experience to their customers in France. It also provided them with peace of mind that they were fully compliant in France and therefore meeting their Plan A commitments.

Marks & Spencer plan to expand their services and benefit from loyal customers who are seeking Marks & Spencer products and services in their own countries. As such, Valpak is continuing to work with Marks & Spencer to identify their obligations in other countries across the EU and further afield to help them ensure that they are fully compliant with international environmental legislation.

Gordon Henman, Packaging Technical Manager, Marks & Spencer, said:

“Having worked with Valpak for several years as our UK compliance partner, it seemed logical to investigate their international capabilities as Marks & Spencer increase their global reach. It was quickly demonstrated that they have a dedicated team which could identify, quantify and satisfy our obligations on a country specific basis. 12 months after opening in Paris, it seems we are throwing them a different challenge every week, and they have risen to everyone in a timely manner.”

He added:

“I would not hesitate to recommend the Valpak team, and look forward to challenging them further.”

If you would like more information about Valpak’s International Compliance Services, or would like to request a meeting to discuss your requirements, email or call 08450 682 572.