RE100 member and global confectionery producer Mars, Inc. has pledged to invest about US$1 billion to slash greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in its supply chain by 67% by 2050 – and to be at the forefront of the new low carbon economy.
Unveiled today, the 'Sustainable in a Generation Plan' builds on the company’s efforts which have already led to a 29% reduction of its emissions against 2007 levels. Mars wants to be fossil fuel free by 2040 in its own operations, and is increasing its renewable energy supply across its sites worldwide to reach this target.
“We’re doing this because it’s the right thing to do but also because it’s good business,” said Grant Reid, CEO, Mars, Inc., commenting on the plan. “We expect to have a competitive advantage from a more resource efficient supply chain, and from ensuring that everyone in our supply chain is doing well.”
“We congratulate Mars on their leadership in delivering a cleaner, prosperous economy,” said Amy Davidsen, Executive Director – North America, The Climate Group. “Mars was one of the first members of RE100 and is at the forefront of an unstoppable market force to transition to 100% renewable energy."
She continued, “This announcement comes less than two weeks before the opening of Climate Week NYC, the collaborative space for businesses and policymakers to implement the Paris Agreement, in order to keep global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius and avoid the most severe impacts of climate change.
"We look forward to major players like Mars showing how their continuing ambitious climate leadership drives innovation, jobs and prosperity.”
A collaborative effort
Today's announcement from Mars is also a call to fellow business leaders, NGOs and governments to put sustainability at the heart of their operations. Mars is a proud member of RE100, The Climate Group’s campaign with CDP bringing together the world’s most influential businesses committed to 100% renewable power.
Mars is already using or purchasing renewable electricity to cover 100% of its operations in Belgium, Brazil, Lithuania, the UK and the US. Next year, it is planning to add Austria, Czech Republic, France, Mexico, Spain and Poland to this list.
“We must work together, because the engine of global business – its supply chain – is broken,” and requires “transformational, cross-industry collaboration to fix it,” said Grant Reid.
"Business needs to look beyond our own operations to transform the entire value chain."
In fact, to date the majority of Mars’ emissions – approximately 65% – come from its own supply chain, which includes about one million employees. Working with suppliers to transition to clean power will help to reduce GHG emissions while future-proofing Mars’ own operations.
Mars has set an interim target to reduce total GHG emissions across its entire value chain by 27% by 2025, while reducing by half water use in excess of sustainable levels and holding flat the total. The plan will also help farmers in transforming how they grow crops in a more environmentally-friendly way, while increasing their income at the same time.
During Climate Week NYC, the company will also unveil a new plan to engage consumers in the climate agenda – featuring its iconic M&M’s characters.
“It’s time for companies to accelerate their game and work together, and work together with governments and civil society,” concluded Grant Reid. “This is a world issue and it requires all actors to work together.”