Mars pledges to accelerate its core climate change initiative
International confectionery and food group Mars has confirmed its ambition to accelerate action to tackle climate change, with the launch of its new #PledgeForPlanet initiative.
As part of the venture, the business is committing to further reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from its direct operations in line with the most ambitious aim of the Paris Agreement – to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The commitment is part of the ongoing Mars push – first announced a decade ago – to achieve 100% renewable energy in its operations by 2040. Today, Mars sources more than half of its electricity from renewable sources – 100% in countries including the U.S., UK, Mexico and soon, Australia. Mars sees a real role for business in disrupting the effects of climate change, and with #PledgeForPlanet, Mars recognises we must go farther and faster in order to help create a healthy planet on which we all can thrive.
To this end, the initiative will see Mars accelerate climate action not only within the business, but also by mobilising its Associates, suppliers and citizens everywhere to pledge to protect the planet and address the causes of climate change.
Mars is calling on all its suppliers to participate through programming such as setting science-based targets, signing on to The Climate Group’s RE100, and embracing a future with renewable energy at the centre of plans for direct operations. Olam, a Mars supplier of cocoa and palm oil, has already signed on.
Mars CEO Grant F. Reid said: “Climate change is a real and tangible threat to society. For example, in our business, we already see it in the risk to livelihoods for smallholder farmers who provide most of our raw ingredients.”
“Risks to the resiliency and sustainability of our supply chain and the future of the farmers we work with is top of mind. But, as a family business that thinks in generations and aspires to make a positive difference in the world, our responsibilities and our ambitions go beyond risk mitigation. We are committed to doing our part for the good of the planet.”
The new initiative follows Mars’ investment of $1bn towards its Sustainable in a Generation Plan to accelerate progress against a range of global threats by looking beyond its own direct operations and into its extended supply chain. The Mars plan also includes a drive towards reducing total GHG emissions across its value chain 27% by 2025 and 67% by 2050.
Mr. Reid added: “As a business, we’ve set ambitious goals to help deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals by changing the way we operate. We’re also inspired by the youth movement demanding climate action and the role of all of us as individuals in driving change. With our #PledgeForPlanet initiative, we are calling for simple, everyday actions that anyone can take today to help create a better tomorrow.”
The new initiative highlights the shared responsibility of businesses, governments, and global citizens to take action on climate change.
Actress and singer Victoria Justice, who has previously performed at the Moral Action on Climate Justice Rally and partnered with the UN Foundation, is helping to kick off #PledgeForPlanet by making her own pledge to the planet and signing a public mural commissioned by Mars.
She said: “Climate change is one of the biggest challenges of our current generation but simple actions can make a large impact. That’s why I’m joining Mars in making my own pledge to the planet, and using my voice to urge people around the world to do the same. We can all play a role in protecting our planet for tomorrow, and for future generations to come. “
The mural, designed by renowned artist Steven Harrington, illustrates what the world could look like if we all took urgent climate action to keep the planet from warming beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius. It will be on public display in the heart of New York City during Climate Week at Bryant Park (see visual) before moving to M&M’S World Times Square.
Harrington, who has previously worked with a number of businesses to develop artwork aimed at provoking conversation and inspiring climate action, commented: “It’s easy for people to feel overwhelmed or helpless when thinking about climate change, but that doesn’t have to be the case. If we all commit to individual actions – big or small – we can together make a huge impact. Through the #PledgeForPlanet mural, I want to help engage and inspire people to think about climate change, and to see the hope that we can have in our planet if we all unite together to take urgent action.”