As the world looks to rebuild from the pandemic, Mars acknowledges this will be a critical year in changing the trajectory on climate change and the health of our planet and, thus, it continues to take bold actions to create a planet where all people can thrive.
Under the theme of Restoration, this year’s World Environment Day is looking to increase awareness on the impact and risks damaged ecosystems pose to our survival and the solutions available. The theme is fundamental for Mars, one of the world’s biggest confectionary, food and pet food manufacturers, and its Sustainable in a Generation plan, which aims to drive transformational change across its extended supply chain. There are many different ecosystems the business is touching, and Mars has been long-term investing in their sustainability. Today, the company celebrates some of the stories which can help change the trajectory on climate change and build a better tomorrow.
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions for a healthier planet
While global greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) have grown for three consecutive years, as the latest UN report shows, Mars managed in the past two years to break the link between economic growth and carbon growth, proving a business can be successful, yet still reduce its emissions. As a result, Mars is proud to announce they are on track to hit their 2025 target of reducing GHG emissions in direct operations (42% reduction compared to a 2015 baseline) early within the next three years. Furthermore, today, more than 54% of electricity they use is from renewable sources, with 11 countries where to company operates sourcing 100% renewable electricity for their activity and eight more countries to follow by 2025.
This is part of the company’s science-based targets, in line with the Paris agreement to reduce GHG emissions across Mars value chain by 27% by 2025 and 67% by 2050 — in order to do their part to keep the planet from warming beyond two degrees.
Restoring coral reef ecosystems today for more fish tomorrow
Coral reef ecosystems are critical to ensuring that our future has fish and are relied on by 500 million people for food, income, and coastal protection. Mars petcare business also depends on them for sourcing raw materials for its products, so, in the past 13 years the company invested more than $10m in research, builds, and community engagement – plating more than 285,000 coral fragments and 19,000 reef stars. The amazing results – an increase from 5% to 55% of coral coverage in the designated areas in only 3 years, have determined the company to continue its efforts and get involved, through one of their cat food brands – Sheba, in the world’s largest coral restoration program with a commitment to restore more than 185,000 square meters of coral reefs around the world by 2029. This comes to show that here’s a man-made solution to this man-made problem — that habitat and biodiversity loss can be reversed.
Innovating to ensure packaging doesn’t become waste
Mars aims to create a world where packaging doesn’t become waste and in order to achieve it, it is rethinking its approach to packaging. This includes reducing what’s not necessary and redesigning packaging to ensure it’s 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.
Some of the innovations the company is developing today include first food-safe packaging made of a single type of recyclable material for microwavable rice pouches – providing the same functionality and high safety standards it’s brands regularly provide consumers with, incorporating recycled plastic into the primary packaging for some of Mars popular pet food products or developing, together with leading manufacturers of biodegradable materials, an eco-friendly technology which can make the packaging of much loved treats fully compostable.
Addressing the design is one part of the puzzle, but it’s critical to also have the right recycling and waste systems in place in local markets — to drive transformational change. That’s why Mars is working in partnership with other businesses, industry and local governments to improve recycling and waste management systems.