MCLEAN, VA. — Mars, Inc. has introduced a net zero roadmap for tackling greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
According to the company, the roadmap features a new goal, reviewed by the Science Based Targets Initiative, to cut emissions in half (or approximately 15 million tonnes) by 2030, using a 2015 baseline, and reach net zero emissions (defined as “a state when greenhouse gases are significantly reduced while ensuring that any other emissions that can’t be eliminated are balanced by removals”) by 2050. Mars said it already has “peaked emissions” in 2018, reducing them in “absolute terms” by 8% (or 2.6 million tonnes) against a 2015 baseline.
Moreover, Mars said it will invest more than $1 billion in the roadmap during the next three years and will continue to offer the necessary financial resources until net zero emissions are achieved. The plan is also an “open-source strategy” that companies across sectors may use to immediately implement meaningful net zero emissions, Mars noted. These actions include keeping track of all emissions, prioritizing performance before promises, furthering progress with “real milestones,” making decisions that can have a future impact and covering areas that high-quality carbon credits can’t cut.
Mars plans to achieve net zero emissions through the following steps:
- Transitioning to 100% renewable energy — Mars will change how it powers plants, offices and veterinary hospitals with the energy used by farmers. The company also will change how it sources ingredients and address the energy used by retailers in addition to consumers and pet owners at home.
- Redesigning its supply chains to stop deforestation — Mars will boost the transparency and traceability of key ingredients (cocoa, soy and beef).
- Scaling up initiatives in “climate smart agriculture” — Mars will work with farmers on using regenerative agriculture, optimizing sourcing and transitioning to renewables.
- Optimizing recipes — Mars will create new lower GHG-footprint ingredients for human snacks and meals as well as alternative proteins for pet foods.
- Improving and optimizing logistics — Mars will redesign networks, forms of transport and energy sources (electricity for vehicles and potential “green hydrogen”) that the company uses.
- Inserting climate action into business — Mars will implant climate reductions into its governance and business planning. The company also will refer to climate action as a shareholder objective in shifting compensation plans of senior executives, in investment planning processes, and in its merger and acquisition strategy amongst other areas.
“2050 can seem to be in the distant future, but the progress we make in the next seven years is critical,” said Poul Weihrauch, chief executive officer of Mars. “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,” he added. 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.”
Mars’ net zero roadmap follows recent climate-related findings. These findings include a major survey, conducted by Mars and handled by the research firm Ipsos, that found that out of 14,468 people in the world’s seven largest economies (United States, United Kingdom, China, Japan, Germany, France and India), 69% of adults believe businesses should focus the same amount or more on tackling climate change rather than economic challenges. The initial amount is 32%, but these respondents said it could increase to 37%. Additionally, the survey found that almost half of these economies place “a great deal” of responsibility on multinational businesses and governments to tackle climate change. The United Nations-backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) also claims it is “now or never” to take dramatic climate action to avoid “disaster.”
Read more about sustainability efforts in the pet food and treat industry.