Mars launches “Sustainable in a Generation Plan” to fight climate change

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MCLEAN, VA. — Mars, Inc. has introduced its “Sustainable in a Generation Plan,” a new initiative that includes a set of far-reaching goals and ambitions the company said are “underpinned by science and a determination to drive impact throughout the extended supply chain.”

Mars plans to invest approximately $1 billion in the plan, which will focus on areas where the company believes it can impact change on some of the world’s biggest problems as defined by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. The three main areas of focus in Mars’ plan include:

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Healthy planet

Mars said it will focus on climate action, water stewardship and land management. The company already has announced a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across its value chain by 67% by 2050.

Thriving people

Mars will focus on increasing income, respecting human rights and unlocking opportunities for women. The company already has launched the Livelihoods Fund for Family Farming to foster sustainability and poverty reduction in extended supply chains.

Nourishing well-being

Mars said it will look to advance science, innovation and marketing in ways that help billions of people and their pets lead healthier, happier lives.

News of Mars’ sustainability plan was announced by Grant F. Reid, the company’s chief executive officer, ahead of this month’s U.N. General Assembly and Climate Week in New York. Mr. Reid said business needs to lead “transformational change” in order to tackle the most urgent threats facing the world.

“If we are to help deliver on the targets agreed in Paris and the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, there has to be a huge step change,” he said. “While many companies have been working on being more sustainable, the current level of progress is nowhere near enough.

“Mars has been in business for four generations and intends to be for the next four generations. 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.”

Mr. Reid said Mars’ “Sustainable in a Generation Plan” is not just about doing better, but doing what is necessary.

“We’re doing this because it’s the right thing to do but also because it’s good business,” he said. “Creating mutual benefits for the people in our supply chain and mitigating our impact on the environment are sound business choices. We also know that increasingly our consumers care about these issues as much as we do.”

Mr. Reid said Mars will reveal plans to engage consumers through its M&M’s brand at the U.N. General Assembly later this month. The campaign is expected to focus on the power of renewable energy and highlight the need for action in addressing climate change, he said.