Mars Inc. plans to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) across its entire supply chain by 2050. The company says it will reach its goal by transitioning to renewable energy, redesigning its supply chains to stop deforestation, investing in renewable agriculture, and challenging its suppliers to take action.
"To deliver meaningful impact and ensure it is fit for purpose, our net zero target covers our entire GHG footprint, from how we source materials through to how consumers use our products, and we're mobilizing our entire business around taking action now and hitting interim targets every five years,” says Grant F. Reid, chief executive officer. "This is going to be a significant challenge, and we won't be able to achieve net zero without the collaboration of our associates, suppliers, customers, consumers and industry partners. It's so important that we work together to drive scale and reach.”
The company says it is redesigning its supply chain to help stop deforestation. Specifically, Mars has identified five commodities as having the greatest risk, including cocoa, beef, palm oil, pulp and paper, and soy. Actions will include a continued shift away from purchasing ingredients based on cost and will focus on transparency and traceability around the commodities it sources. Management’s goal is for the five commodities to be deforestation-free by 2025.
Mars also has committed to working with farmers and suppliers to promote regenerative agriculture. Specific projects underway include a soil health initiative that is supporting resilience in wheat production in Australia; a Sustainable Dairy Partnership, which is scaling collaboration between dairy suppliers and buyers around the globe; and Oryzonte, a program to improve rice agriculture in Spain, reducing both water use and methane emissions.
“We will push the boundaries of what is possible through regenerative agriculture, and this will require an acceleration of our work, along with deeper and more integrated partnerships with our suppliers, and stronger government frameworks that incentivize sustainable practices," says Barry Parkin, chief sustainability and procurement officer.
Mars says it is making progress towards achieving zero GHG emissions in its direct operations by 2040. It is now sourcing 100% renewable electricity for the entirety of its operations in 11 countries that accounts for 54% of its global needs. Management has plans to make a similar switch in an additional eight countries by 2025.
Suppliers to the company also will need to take action. They are being encouraged by Mars to calculate their own GHG footprints and set science-based targets for reductions. Through Mars’ Supplier Leadership on Climate Transition program the company will provide training and capability building with the goal of signing up other brands to join and scale the project.
“This is going to be a significant challenge, and we won't be able to achieve net zero without the collaboration of our associates, suppliers, customers, consumers and industry partners,” Reid says. “It's so important that we work together to drive scale and reach.
"We need to overhaul the supply chains which power global business and put an end to deforestation and the conversion of natural ecosystems to drive meaningful change now. We can't use long-term ambitions as an excuse for inaction and delay."