Cheltenham legal firm sets energy precedent in unique agreement for Marks and Spencer

Energy expert Claire Roberts, partner at professional services firm Knights which has an office in Cheltenham, has broken new ground with an innovative contract for retail giant Marks and Spencer (M&S) - the first of its kind in the retail sector.

As part of their wider biomethane gas arrangements, Claire advised M&S on a highly bespoke agreement which will enable the retailer to acquire biomethane certificates to demonstrate that it is reducing its carbon footprint without affecting its existing supply agreements.

Claire, an energy specialist and expert in contractual matters relating to the development of renewables projects, said: “There is no precedent for an agreement such as this as the biomethane certification scheme is relatively new and not underpinned by legislation, making it very much a niche area.

“This agreement is novel in the way that it allows M&S to negotiate with and acquire biomethane certificates from certain producers through its relationship with an existing energy supplier.” Gio Patellaro, head of energy supply and risk at M&S,said: “Over the past couple of years, M&S has worked tirelessly to use innovative ways to improve its carbon efficiency.

“Because this arrangement is the first of its kind in the biomethane sector, Claire and her team at Knights were dedicated to writing a truly bespoke agreement which would enable us to continue to blaze a trail in the market place that we hope others will follow. “Our commitment is to ensure that 50 per cent of the energy used in M&S buildings comes from certified green biomethane sources by 2020.” Claire added: “We were delighted to advise M&S on part of their biomethane strategy. They have a dedicated programme to reduce their carbon footprint and this agreement will assist with their sustainability agenda.”