Mars confirms a $1 billion funding to deliver 50% emissions cuts by 2030

A major renewed environmental drive has been confirmed by Mars, Incorporated, as it pledges an additional total of $1 billion towards achieving its ‘net zero roadmap’, aiming to make 50% cuts in greenhouse gas emissions across its complete value chain by 2030, reports Neill Barston.

Notably, as the business previously confirmed it began its action plan from a baseline of its 2015 performance, with its latest tranche of investment  seeking to make a difference across all of its activities, including improving cocoa and chocolate processing facilities.

As the confectionery and wider food market giant observed, its levels of emissions peaked in 2018, and it has since reduced GHGs in absolute terms by 8% or 2.6 million metric tons, at the same time as the company expanding its operations by an overall total 60% during that time.

Crucially, as part of the action plan, Mars will invest over $1 billion over the next three years and continue to commit financial resources as needed until Net Zero is achieved. From the farms where food is grown for people and pets to the veterinary clinics where our pets are cared for, Mars is taking immediate action to reduce GHG emissions across its businesses to help build a better, more sustainable future for all. Net Zero refers to a state when greenhouse gases are significantly reduced while ensuring that any other emissions that can’t be eliminated are balanced by removals.

The roadmap comes after recent findings by the UN-backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that it is “now or never” to take drastic action on climate change to avoid “disaster.”

It comes as a major new Ipsos survey, commissioned by Mars, found that despite current difficult economic circumstances, on average 69% of adults across the world’s seven largest economies think businesses should focus the same amount (32%) or more (37%) on tackling climate change rather than economic challenges. The research involved 14,468 people in the USA, UK, China, Japan, Germany, France, and India.

It also found that nearly half in the world’s seven largest economies place “a great deal” of responsibility on multinational businesses and governments to make changes to address climate change. Full results can be found in the notes to editors below.

With an emissions footprint of a country the size of Finland, Mars aims by 2030 to reduce its emissions by 50% in absolute terms, or approximately 15 million metric tons, building on the 8% GHG reduction to date.

The Mars Net Zero Roadmap includes details on how the firm believes it can achieve its goals and serves as an open-source strategy companies across sectors can use to implement meaningful Net Zero action immediately. This means including all emissions, prioritising performance over promises, advancing progress with real milestones, making decisions today that reverberate tomorrow, and covering what can’t be cut with high-quality carbon credits.

Among its core areas of action are transitioning to100% renewable energy, by changing power sources for its factories and facilities, as well as redesigning its supply chains to prevent deforestation around the world, including within West Africa for cocoa supplies. It also intends to examine energy use by farmers, its sourcing of ingredients, as well as customers’ use of energy. This will involve scaling up initiatives in climate smart agriculture – by working with farmers on regenerative agriculture, optimiaing sourcing, and switching to renewables.

The company also added that it intended to improve its logistics,  redesigning networks, the type of transport Mars relies on and the energy sources used, e.g., electrification of vehicles or potential green hydrogen. As for climate reductions, it aimed to enshrine these in its formal policies,  into its governance and business planning, including it as a shareholder objective, in variable remuneration plans of senior executives, in investment planning processes, in its merger and acquisition strategy.

Poul Weihrauch, Mars CEO said “2050 can seem to be in the distant future, but the progress we make in the next seven years is critical. My generation of CEOs has the ability and responsibility to deliver actual emission reductions and put business on a clear path to Net Zero by 2050. That’s why Mars is committed to delivering a 50% reduction in GHG by 2030. We cannot wait for the economy to improve; we must push forward with investments that protect our business today and in the future. As I have said before, profit and purpose are not enemies. Investment in climate is not a trade-off between planet and productivity, or between environment and employment. Consumers and our Associates clearly want both – and so do we. Investing in emissions reductions is sound business policy, it is achievable, affordable, and it is absolutely necessary.”

He added that companies, including its own, must be judged against their climate plans, as much as they are in regard to financial results and forecasts, such is the significance of ensuring a positive environmental contribution.

Barry Parkin, Mars Chief Sustainability and Procurement Officer, concluded: “Mars has always followed science, and science says we must cut our emissions across our full value chain by 50% by 2030. Science points us to five fundamentals that Net Zero roadmaps should consider to deliver real impact, for example that there is no place for exclusions or exceptions and that we must prioritize performance over promises.

“In preparing our roadmap, we’ve learned that this is both entirely possible to deliver with existing science and technology as well as entirely affordable. We can both grow our business and cut emissions. I hope our roadmap clearly and powerfully demonstrates what Mars is doing and, critically, what we believe needs to happen at scale to help tackle the worst impacts of climate change.”


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