It’s a sweet program from the maker M&M’s and one of the world’s largest candy and food products companies. But Mars’ “Sustainable in a Generation” has big, serious ambitions to tackle climate change, poverty and more. The project won’t just invest in itself either, rather its investing to achieve some of the UN’s sustainable development goals.
"Mars has been in business for four generations and intends to be for the next four generations,” said Mars CEO Grant Reid. “The only way that will happen is if we do things differently to ensure that the planet is healthy and all people in our extended supply chains have the opportunity to thrive. We must work together, because the engine of global business—its supply chain—is broken, and requires transformational, cross-industry collaboration to fix it.”
"If we are to help deliver on the targets agreed in Paris and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, there has to be a huge step change. While many companies have been working on being more sustainable, the current level of progress is nowhere near enough,” Reid contended.
Indeed, every year more companies are using more renewable energy, including major retailers that sell Mars products like Walmart and Target. But most companies are focussed on their own needs rather than making investments in sustainability outside their of their own operations.
The company said it will invest in "transformational change" to tackle urgent threats facing the planet and its people. the investments will be aimed at three main goals, a healthy planet, thriving people and nourishing wellbeing. As part of its healthy planet efforts it will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions across its value chain by 67 percent by 2050. It already powers all of its operations in the US and the United Kingdom with renewable energy and plans to add in more renewable energy in 2018.
In terms of supporting thriving people the company will invest in improving the working lives of one million people in its value chain. The company said its investments will focusing on increasing income, respecting human rights and unlocking opportunities for women. It’s already launched the $155 million Livelihoods Fund for Family Farming to encourage sustainable agriculture while reducing poverty and launched the Farmer Income Lab think tank.
Its wellbeing efforts aim to advance science, innovation and marketing. For example at the United Nations General Assembly Week and Climate Week from Sept. 18 to 24 Reid will announce a campaign to engage consumers through M&M’s to champion renewable energy and the need for action on climate change. “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,” Reid said.Tweet