Mars Reveals Route to 50 Percent Emissions Reduction

As part of the action plan, the company will invest more than $1 billion over the next three years until Net Zero is achieved.
Danielle Romano
Managing Editor
Danielle Romano
Net Zero emissions teaser

MCLEAN, Va. — Mars Inc. is on a mission to achieve Net Zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across its full value chain by 2050, according to The Mars Net Zero Roadmap, a decisive action plan.

Plans include a new target reviewed by the Science Based Targets Initiative to cut emissions by 50 percent by 2030, from a 2015 baseline, with a pathway to Net Zero by 2050.

The company peaked emissions in 2018 and has reduced GHGs in absolute terms by 8 percent, or 2.6 million metric tons, against a 2015 baseline, while growing the business 60 percent during that time. As part of the action plan, Mars will invest more than $1 billion over the next three years and continue to commit financial resources as needed until Net Zero is achieved, the company stated.

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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, Mars said.

"Mars has always followed science, and science says we must cut our emissions across our full value chain by 50 percent 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"  said Mars Chief Sustainability and Procurement Officer Barry Parkin. "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."

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

To achieve Net Zero, Mars will accelerate its focus on:

  • Transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy — By changing how it powers its factories, offices and veterinary hospitals, addressing energy used by farmers, how it sources ingredients, and even the energy used by customers (retailers) and by consumers and pet owners at home.
  • Redesigning its supply chains to stop deforestation — By enhancing transparency and traceability of key ingredients such as cocoa, soy and beef.
  • Scaling up initiatives in climate smart agriculture — By working with farmers on regenerative agriculture, optimizing sourcing and switching to renewables.
  • Optimizing recipes — Developing new lower GHG-footprint ingredients for snacks and human-food dishes, as well as alternative proteins for pet food.
  • Improving and optimizing logistics — Redesigning networks, the type of transport Mars relies on and the energy sources used, e.g., electrification of vehicles or potential green hydrogen.
  • Embedding climate action in the business — Embedding climate reductions 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, etc.

"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 percent 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," commented Poul Weihrauch, CEO of Mars.

"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. Companies must be judged — Mars included — on the actual results we deliver against our climate plans, not just the scale of the commitment we make – just as we are judged by our boards and investors on the delivery of financial results, not the quality of our financial forecasts."

Consumer Sentiment

A new Ipsos survey commissioned by Mars found that despite current difficult economic circumstances, on average 69 percent of adults across the world's seven largest economies think businesses should focus the same amount (32 percent) or more (37 percent) on tackling climate change rather than economic challenges.

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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.

The research involved 14,468 people in the United States, the United Kingdom, China, Japan, Germany, France and India.

Mars' Net Zero strategy and roadmap can be downloaded here.

Headquartered in McLean, Mars Inc. is a global, family-owned business. With almost $45 billion in annual sales, the company produces well-known brands, including Ben's Original, Cesar, Cocoavia, Dove, Extra, KIND, M&M'S, Snickers, Pedigree, Royal Canin and Whiskas.

Mars is also creating a better world for pets through its global network of pet hospitals and diagnostic services, including AniCura, Banfield, Bluepearl Linnaeus and VCA.

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