Mars moves to co-found Supplier Leadership on Climate initiative

Mars, Incorporated, has joined with sustainability consultancy Guidehouse, to form the  Supplier Leadership on Climate Transition, to deliver further industry engagement on tackling climate change, reports Neill Barston.

As the group, which includes its extensive global confectionery interests, stated that it aims to encourage sector-wide initiatives through providing suppliers with the knowledge, resources and tools to develop their own environmental improvement plans.

The company confirmed it is aiming to accelerate progress towards its commitment to reduce GHG emissions across its value chain by 27% by 2025, leading to a further total of 67% by 2050.

According to Mars, in its first year, the scheme will focus on helping suppliers understand the foundations of greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions in their own businesses, including core knowledge of how to calculate their own GHG footprints and to set their own science-based targets.

The business is a founding partner of the Supplier LoCT, with global businesses PepsiCo and McCormick also joining and enrolling suppliers to take part.

As the business noted, it has already made steady progress to cut emissions in its own operations by switching to renewables – which now accounts for 54% of the company’s global electricity use, and is now on track to reach its interim 2025 target early. Within the next three years, Mars will have cut over 42% of emissions in direct operations (compared to a 2015 baseline), building momentum towards net-zero in direct operations by 2040.

Barry Parkin, Chief Procurement & Sustainability Officer at Mars, Incorporated, said: “As the world looks to rebuild from the pandemic, this will be a critical year in altering the trajectory of climate change. It’s never been more vital for global businesses and their suppliers to come together and protect the health of our planet and global communities for generations to come.

“Mars is making strong progress to cut emissions in our direct operations and will hit our 2025 target well ahead of our goal. However, with our extended supply chain accounting for over 94 per cent of our emissions, it’s crucial we also partner with our suppliers to drive broad transformations and mitigate our collective impact on climate change. By forming this partnership and actively engaging our suppliers on sustainability, we hope we can drive truly meaningful, global impact.”

It comes as part of the business’ #PledgeforPlanet initiative launched in 2019, calling on its suppliers to join Mars in setting climate targets in line with the Science Based Targets Initiative, signing on to The Climate Group’s RE100 and embracing a future with renewable energy at the centre of operations.

Mars is focused on engaging its largest 200 suppliers to maximise impact and catalyse change through its broader supply chain. So far, 23 of its major suppliers have set science-based targets or joined the RE100, and Mars has since engaged another 30 suppliers to set their own climate targets or to enrol in the Supplier LoCT programme.

Britt Harter, Guidehouse’s sustainability lead and partner in the firm’s Energy, Sustainability, and Infrastructure segment, said: “Emissions reductions are now essential, and global supply chains contain some of the most significant and difficult-to-reduce emissions. While organizations across the world have made bold commitments to science-based climate reductions, most are struggling to deliver progress, and the clock is ticking. We have joined forces with Mars, McCormick, and PepsiCo to demonstrate our combined leadership and go beyond target setting to drive real action.”

Industry organisations including The Food Industry Association (FMI) and sustainability nonprofit Ceres, have notably welcomed the efforts of Supplier LoCT to convene suppliers on this important topic.


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