Candy giant Mars, Inc., announced this week it will invest approximately $1 billion in its “Sustainable in a Generation Plan.” The plan focuses on areas where Mars can impact change on some of the world’s biggest problems, as defined by the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The Sustainable in a Generation Plan outlines three interconnected ambitions:
• Healthy Planet – with an ambition to reduce environmental impacts in line with what science says is necessary to keep the planet healthy – focusing on climate action, water stewardship and land management. For example, Mars has announced a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across its value chain by 67% by 2050 – dramatically expanding on previous goals to reduce GHGs in its operations.
• Thriving People – with an ambition to meaningfully improve the working lives of one million people in its value chain to enable them to thrive – focusing on increasing income, respecting human rights and unlocking opportunities for women. For example, we have launched the Livelihoods Fund for Family Farming to foster sustainability and poverty reduction in extended supply chains and the Farmer Income Lab, a collaborative “think-do tank” focused on generating the missing insights needed to eradicate smallholder poverty.
• Nourishing Wellbeing – with an ambition to advance science, innovation and marketing in ways that help billions of people and their pets lead healthier, happier lives. This continues on its current efforts around food safety and security; product and ingredient renovation; and responsible marketing.
Grant Reid, CEO of Mars, stated, “This plan is about not just doing better, but doing what’s necessary. We’re doing this because it’s the right thing to do but also because it’s good business. Creating mutual benefits for the people in our supply chain, and mitigating our impact on the environment are sound business choices. We also know that increasingly our consumers care about these issues as much as we do.”
The company plans to promote its message in an advertising campaign featuring the iconic M&M characters.
Reid stated, “Through our much-loved M&M’s brand, we can inspire consumers on this important topic and shine the spotlight on renewable energy – one of the solutions that will help us to tackle climate change and meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”
Mars has a history of working to create a united global front to act on climate change. The business spoke out at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP22) in Marrakech last year, by signing a letter urging global leaders to commit to the Paris Climate Agreement, and last year launched its Moy wind farm in the Scottish Highlands to generate renewable electricity equivalent to the company’s entire U.K. operations.
Barry Parkin, Mars Chief Sustainability and Health and Wellbeing Officer said: “We know we cannot grow and prosper unless the planet, people and communities on which we rely are healthy and thriving.”