Mars publishes net zero roadmap to cut emissions 50% by 2030
Mars, producer of some of Britain’s most loved brands, from Ben’s Original to Sheba and Extra, is publishing its net zero roadmap, an open sourced action plan with remarkable transparency and detail, to accelerate action towards achieving net zero emissions.
This is a decisive action plan for achieving net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across its full value chain by 2050. The Mars Roadmap includes a new target reviewed by the Science Based Targets initiative to cut emissions by 50% 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% or 2.6 million metric tonnes against a 2015 baseline, while growing the business 60% during that time. 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.
Looking specifically at the UK, the Ipsos survey found that 81% of UK respondents think that multinational businesses have a responsibility to make changes that influence climate change, Despite Two in Three (63%) respondents feeling that UK businesses should focus on tackling climate change, Brits expectations of businesses don’t match this aspiration. Just half of Britons (48%) think businesses will commit to addressing climate change – compared to three in five (60%) who think businesses will commit to addressing economic challenges.
Poul Weihrauch, Mars CEO, said that 2050 can seem like the distant future, but he stressed, ‘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 is 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.’
Poul Weihrauch continued, ‘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.’
Barry Parkin, Mars chief sustainability and procurement officer, said: ‘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 prioritise performance over promises. In preparing our roadmap, we have 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.’
Adam Grant, general manager, Mars Wrigley UK, said: ‘Our reach in homes and veterinary clinics across the UK means we feel a great responsibility to do the right thing for our planet. That is why today we are announcing we will reduce greenhouse gas emissions globally and across our value chain 50% by 2030.
‘In just a few years in the UK we have reduced our carbon footprint by sourcing 100% renewable electricity across all of our UK manufacturing sites, led on packaging developments, and been working hard on our cocoa supply chain to prevent deforestation.
‘We know there is a lot more to do and I am incredibly proud that Mars is taking bold action to reduce GHGs emissions not only across our business but also in our full value chain. I look forward to delivering positive change through ambitious commitments and action in our market.’
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 tonnes, building on the 8% GHG reduction to date. The Mars Net Zero Roadmap includes details about how net zero is achievable for Mars 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.
To achieve net zero, Mars will accelerate its focus on:
Transitioning to 100% 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.
Optimising recipes – developing new lower GHG footprint ingredients for snacks and human food dishes, as well as alternative proteins for pet food.
Improving and optimising logistics – redesigning networks, the type of transport Mars relies on and the energy sources used, for example, 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.
Anyone interested in learning more about Mars’ Net Zero strategy and roadmap can download the document at mars.com/netzero2050.