Mars

RATING

SECTOR

Food, Drink & Tobacco

WEBSITE

CONTACT

6885 Elm Street
McLean, Virginia 22101
Contact Mars, Inc.
Phone: (703) 821-4900
Fax: (703) 448-9678

STOCK EXCHANGE

N/A

LISTING

2020

  • No. 4 in 2020 Best Workplaces in Europe
  • No. 1 in 2020 France’s Great Place to Work: 2,500 – 5,000 Employees
  • No. 2 in 2020 Germany’s Best Employer: 2,001-5,000 Employees
  • No. 2 in 2020 Spain’s Great Place to Work
  • No. 3 in Norway’s 2020 Best Norwegian Workplaces
  • No. 3  in 2020 Greece’s Best Workplaces: 50-250 Employees
  • No. 3 in 2020 Italy’s Best Workplaces
  • No. 3 in 2020 UK’s Best Workplaces for Women — the only FMCG company to make the list: 1,000+ Employees
  • No. 6 in 2020 Ireland’s Best Small Workplaces
  • No. 8 in 2020 UK’s Best Workplaces: Super Large (1,000+) 
  • No. 11 in Sweden’s 2020 Best Swedish Workplaces 

2019 

  • No. 1 in 2019 Portugal’s Best Workplaces
  • No. 1 UK’s Best Workplaces for Women 2019 – Super Large
  • No. 2 in 2019 Spain’s Best Workplaces: 501-1,000 Employees
  • No. 2 in 2019 Switzerland’s Best Workplaces: 50-249 Employees
  • No. 3 in 2019 Austria’s Best Workplaces: More than 500 Employees
  • No. 3 in 2019 France’s Best Workplaces: Between 500 and 5,000 Employees
  • No. 4 in 2019 Norway’s Best Workplaces: Small
  • No. 5 in 2019 UK’s Best Workplaces: Super Large (1,000+ employees)
  • No. 6 in 2019 Europe’s Best Workplaces: Multinational Companies
  • No. 6 in 2019 Belgium’s Best Workplaces: Small and Medium
  • No. 10 in 2019 Finland’s Best Workplaces: Small

EMPLOYEES

130,000

CHIEF SUSTAINABILITY OFFICER

Barry Parkin

AWARDS

CONTENT SOURCE

FURTHER READING

Report created by Ajith Thangavelautham

Mars

SECTIONS :  Sustainability    Evaluation  •  Progress  •  Watch  •  Overview

Company Activity

Founded in 1911, Mars, Incorporated is one of the largest food companies in the world. Founder Frank C. Mars started the company in his Tacoma, Washington kitchen. His son Forrest E. Mars, Sr. joined the company in the 1920s. 

Today, the company operates their business segments: Petcare, Food, Mars Wrigley, and Mars Edge. Mars Wrigley brands include M&Ms, Skittles, Snickers and Extra. The company is owned by the grandchildren of Frank Mars and employs 125,0000 people in over 80 countries.

Company Sustainability Activity

Mars is transforming the way they do business. From replacing plastic packaging with eco-friendly materials, to advancing global research on critical food safety challenges, to rethinking where and how they buy their raw materials, they are constantly innovating to drive positive change for people and the planet. They are taking purposeful action, informed by science and in support of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, to grow sustainably.

Since launching their Sustainable in a Generation Plan in 2017 with an initial $1 billion investment, they have made progress to curb their environmental impact, meaningfully improve lives in the workplaces, supply chains and communities where they work, and help billions of people and their pets lead healthier, happier lives today and into the future.

They focus their work in three key areas: Healthy Planet, Thriving People and Nourishing Wellbeing.

Highlights

Mars’ “carbon principles” framework is an excellent reference for brands looking to deploy their own set of guidelines. 

  • Allocation of the global carbon budget should be science-based and aligned with the global 2°C target, which if applied by all emitters would comply with the global budget. 
  • Their GHG reduction targets must be absolute, not intensity-based, or they risk hitting their targets, but still exceeding their share of the budget.
  • All greenhouse gas emissions count – this includes emissions from land use change. They will not exclude parts of their value chain from their accounting, though they will prioritize where they focus their efforts to deliver reductions.
  • Both reducing net emissions and increasing carbon sequestration can contribute to their goals in a way that is consistent with the science, if done and accounted for correctly.
  • Their strategies for meeting their carbon budget should not restrict the ability of others outside of their value chain to meet GHG reduction targets for their activities. 
  • They will use transparent and credible GHG calculation and accounting methods and robust data.

Targets

HEALTHY PLANET: Reduce their environmental impacts in line with what science says is necessary to keep the planet healthy.

Greenhouse gas emissions

  • Reduce total greenhouse gas emissions across their value chain by 27% by 2025 and by 67% by 2050.*

Water use

  • Eliminate unsustainable water use in their value chain, starting with a 50% reduction by 2025.*

Land management

  • Hold flat the total land area associated with their value chain.*

Packaging

  • Develop eco-friendly packaging that is reusable, recyclable or compostable while decreasing virgin plastic use by 25% by 2025.+

THRIVING PEOPLE: Meaningfully improve the lives of 1 million people in their value chain to enable them to thrive. 

On the path to meaningful improvement

  • Farmers, workers, women and children covered by programs designed to improve human rights and incomes.

Farmer income

  • Farmers are covered by programs that combine good agricultural practices, access to inputs, the latest plant science and/or other ongoing engagement designed to help increase their incomes.   

Human rights

  • Human rights due diligence (HRDD) activated in all Mars manufacturing sites; people covered with programs to improve conditions in supplier factories; and households covered in their cocoa supply chain with systems to prevent and address child labor.

Women’s empowerment 

  • Women engaged in their cocoa and mint supply chains with economic empowerment programs designed to boost their savings rates and entrepreneurial skills.

NOURISHING WELL-BEING: Advance science, innovation and marketing to help billions of people and their pets lead healthier, happier lives.

Healthy meals

  • Deliver 1 billion more healthy meals on dinner tables around the world by 2021.**

Transparent information

  • Achieve at least 97% media placement compliance in their top 14 markets across TV, other broadcast channels, digital and social media, and achieve at least 95% media content compliance in their top 18 markets.++

Associate health and wellbeing

  • Increase the proportion of large (>100 Associates) Mars sites worldwide with the 10 fundamentals of a healthy, energizing work culture established to at least 95% by 2023.

Food safety and security

  • Through the Mars Global Food Safety Center, address three long-term food safety challenges: mycotoxin risk management, microbial risk management and food integrity.

Progress

Circular packaging 

  • To help build a circular economy where no packaging becomes waste, they are redesigning packaging so it can be reused, recycled or composted—from a cardboard Maltesers Truffle Treat box to bulk cat food in a stainless-steel container.

Farmer Income Lab

  • Smallholder farmer poverty is a complex issue that requires industry action. Through the Farmer Income Lab, they’ve built a coalition of partners—including AB InBev, Danone, the United Nations Development Programme, Oxfam and others—to invest in identifying what really works to ensure their supply chains provide social and economic stability for farmers and communities. 

Working to stop deforestation

  • They launched their Palm Positive Plan in 2019, aiming to radically transform how they source palm oil and halt deforestation in their palm oil supply chains. They are committed to sourcing 100% deforestation-free palm oil by the end of 2020 and supporting smallholder farmers and suppliers whose sustainable practices meet their expectations.

Improving nutrition 

  • Mars is committed to working with peers to achieve better nutrition across the food industry. As a member of the International Food and Beverage Alliance they pledged in 2019 to align to the World Health Organization’s standard for eliminating industrially produced trans fat by 2023—a commitment Mars has already achieved across their human food portfolio. 

Health at work 

  • Their new Mars Be Well program emphasizes a healthy work culture by helping their worksites implement 10 key healthy workplace criteria— including healthy leadership practices, mental health resources, workplace nutrition and facility design. They aim to achieve healthy workplace status at 95% of their large sites (100+ Associates) by 2023 and to help reduce chronic disease risk in their workforce in the long term.

Cocoa for Generations 

  • Empowering women and protecting children in farming communities is pivotal to growing cocoa sustainably. Guided by their Protecting Children Action Plan, they aim to reach 100% of their at-risk suppliers with child labor monitoring and remediation systems by 2025. With CARE International, they support savings programs with thousands of women in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana to advance their economic empowerment.

Next Generation Supplier 

  • They launched their Next Generation Supplier program in 2019 to better engage their suppliers as they deliver greater positive impact in their workplaces. The program builds on years of experience and long-standing commitments while collaborating to improve management systems and introducing new tools and technologies that they believe will help strengthen working conditions for the people in their supply chains

A pledge for the planet 

  • Everyone has a role in ensuring their world thrives for future generations. Their #PledgeForPlanet initiative calls on Mars suppliers, Associates and all individuals to take action to address climate change. Their suppliers are being asked to join them in commitments to science-based targets, renewable energy and other actions that can help protect the planet.

The science of safe food 

  • Their Global Food Safety Center generates cutting-edge science to raise the bar on food safety and security. Research they released in 2019 will improve detection of foodborne pathogens and enable swifter responses to outbreaks. They also are working with partners on a sophisticated fingerprinting method to validate food authenticity—a potential game changer for keeping food safe and minimizing waste.
  • During the COVID-19 pandemic they have expanded safety measures and benefits to support the health and wellbeing of their Associates and their families. And in the communities where they live, work and operate, they have pledged an initial $20 million to provide food, supplies and critical support for those most in need, so that they can all recover more quickly, together.
  • Support in their supply chains: As Mars works to secure the health of their workforce, they also have stepped up their response and recovery efforts for people throughout their value chain. They are mapping poverty hot spots to prioritize actions within their supply chains and engaging key suppliers on heightened vulnerabilities to workers.
  • Collaborating for action: They continue to partner with their peers to identify the most impactful ways to strengthen smallholder farmer livelihoods and global supply chains. Through the Livelihoods Fund for Family Farming, which Mars co-founded with Danone, they’re investing in pilot projects with 25,000 farmers over the next five years to create a model for successful, sustainable agriculture. At the same time, their Farmer Income Lab is putting research into action through a series of Lighthouse Programs that seek to demonstrate what works in driving meaningful improvements to farmer income. 

Certificates

  • ISO 14001– Certificate of Registration for Mars Hungary Pet Food Manufacturing Ltd.
  • LEED – Mars Unveils First LEED-Certified Pet Food Facility in Arkansas

UN Sustainable Development Goals

How company covers SDGs

The following section aligns current company-wide sustainability initiatives with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Although not explicitly stated, Mars has attempted to be compliant with SDGs.

SDG 1

Helping Smallholder Farmers Prosper

  • At Mars, they believe everyone working within their extended supply chains should earn a sufficient income to maintain a decent standard of living. This is their goal. Although their relationship with smallholder farmers is rarely direct, they know they are critical for their business. Not only are they focused on helping smallholder farmers prosper today, they’re also working to ensure that the next generation is motivated to stay connected to farming as a profession that allows them to thrive tomorrow.  

Why They’re Invested in Increasing Farmer Income  

  • An estimated 200 million smallholder farmers work to feed the world, but far too many of them face poverty. Although they rarely purchase directly from farmers, they recognize that helping lift smallholder farmers out of poverty is both the right thing to do and vital for the long-term sustainability of their supply chains.   
  • Their plan is based on investing in activities that have a tangible impact on the ground, beginning with their cocoa, mint and rice supply chains, where a large number of farmers are estimated to live in poverty. 

The Farmer Income Lab  

  • In 2018, they launched the Farmer Income Lab, a collaborative “think-do tank” focused on finding practical insights needed to help eradicate smallholder poverty. This Lab is intended to be a catalyst, driving faster and more effective impact at scale within their supply chains, and amplifying their impacts by sharing their insights with others. Oxfam has agreed to serve as one of their advisers on this work.  
  • Maximizing Impact with the Livelihoods Fund for Family Farming 
  • To further their investment in smallholder farmers, they co-founded the Livelihoods Fund for Family Farming, which will invest more than $130 million to develop sustainable agriculture projects aimed at improving incomes, enhancing food security and restoring ecosystems.  They aim to benefit 200,000 farms through the Livelihoods Fund, while developing sustainable supply chains to source high-quality raw materials.

SDG 2

  • The Mars Foundation made a $500,000 donation to the Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB) in Washington D.C. to help address increased hunger and food insecurity in the wake of COVID-19. This donation is in addition to Mars, Incorporated’s $20 million in cash and in-kind donations to support communities’ response and recovery.
  • Around the world they are partnering with organizations, such as Feeding America (the largest domestic hunger-relief organization in the United States) and the Trussell Trust (the largest food bank network in the United Kingdom) to provide food and financial donations to the communities most impacted by COVID-19.
  • The efforts are part of their continuing community giving programs and the $20 million commitment made by Mars, Incorporated in response to support COVID-19 relief.
  • “Our Global Health and Wellbeing Ambition” has a simple objective: They are working toward their ambition to deliver 1 billion more healthy meals, for a total of 4 billion healthy meals, shared on dinner tables around the world by 2021.
  • They’re using the strict World Health Organization (WHO) nutrition recommendations as their targets for reducing sodium and added sugar in their products. This helps ensure that they set the bar high to offer high-quality, healthier products to consumers.

SDG 3

  • Their Global Health and Wellbeing Ambition has a simple objective: deliver 1 billion more healthy meals, for a total of 4 billion healthy meals, shared on dinner tables around the world by 2021. 
  • They’ve delivered an additional 300 million healthy meals, bringing their total to 400 million more healthy meals since they launched their Ambition in 2016.
  • Today, 72 percent of their products (by sales volume) meet World Health Organization recommendations for calories, added sugar, sodium and fats, as incorporated into the Mars Food Nutrition Criteria.
  • They’ve reduced sodium by an average of 8 percent across their global portfolio — steady progress toward their goal to reduce sodium by 20 percent.
  • They’re providing more transparency about their ingredients for their consumers and how their foods fit into a balanced weekly diet. Almost all of their brands provide nutrition information online. They’re updating their on-pack recipe suggestions to help consumers craft healthy meals with their products and rolling out new language so they can identify how to integrate their foods into a balanced weekly diet.
  • Their leading brands continue to launch campaigns to inspire family cooking and meal sharing around the world. Associates are doing their part, too, by volunteering their time to teach kids the basics of nutrition and cooking, giving them important skills they can use to cook healthy meals at home with their families.

SDG 4

  • Mars is growing at such a rate that, to keep pace, they’ll need to add 70,000 new Associates in the next decade—many of those positions in STEM fields. So with an eye toward the future, the Mars Volunteer Program held an event in conjunction with Learning to Work, an organization that helps young people improve their employability. Taking place at Mars Wrigley Confectionery UK, the event welcomed young women from five different schools to explore different aspects of a STEM career, including team building, strategy and communication. Post-event, the young women engaged in networking sessions with female Mars employees from a range of areas, including engineering, program management and finance. 

SDG 5

  • In their workplaces, they’re taking action with policies and practices to improve representation and Associate benefits while ensuring they continue to pay Associates equitably. They are aspiring to reach 100% gender-balanced business leadership teams across their global business. 
  • Advancing the Mars approach to flexible working beyond the pandemic. By encouraging Associates to choose the environment that has the optimal conditions for the work or task at hand, they will drive greater speed and agility.
  • They are committed to equal pay for male and female Associates across their global businesses. Last year they completed a comprehensive review of their pay practices that confirmed they pay their Associates equitably regardless of their gender.
  • In communities where they source raw materials, they’re investing with a range of partners in long-term approaches to bolster women’s economic empowerment and access to opportunity by:
  • Expanding their global women’s empowerment partnership with CARE including a $10 million investment over the next five years to empower 50,000 people in cocoa sourcing communities, as well as an initial $5 million contribution to COVID response focused on women across five countries in cocoa, mint and fish supply chains. This work builds on five years of collaboration with CARE to strengthen women’s social and economic empowerment in West African cocoa-growing communities. 
  • Focusing on women’s social and economic empowerment through their Cocoa for Generations strategy and their Protecting Children Action Plan. The Royal Tropical Institute of the Netherlands is supporting new insights on empowerment opportunities for women and girls in cocoa communities. 
  • Investing more than $4.5 million in initiatives that include empowering women in coconut, vanilla and shea sourcing communities with the Livelihoods Fund for Family Farming. 
  • Reaching more than 4,500 women through self-help groups in mint sourcing communities in India through the Shub Mint program, including training on financial literacy and as access to loans. They’re working with more than 800 women rice farmers in Thailand on good agricultural practices training, financial literacy and business skills support with the Sustainable Rice Platform.
  • Generating practical insights to drive action through the Farmer Income Lab. Mars founded this ‘think-do’ tank to identify what works to meaningfully improve farmer incomes — including more understanding of the critical role of women’s economic empowerment in community resilience and supply chain strengthening. 
  • Working to remove gender bias and negative stereotypes in their advertising in partnership with the U.N.’s Women’s Unstereotype Alliance (where they are a founding member), and increasing access to opportunity by mandating that agency bids must include a female director.
  • Reviewing their advertising annually to identify and reduce gender bias, partnering with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media.
  • Leveraging their brands to raise awareness and support women in sourcing communities. Since 2016, their DOVE® chocolate brand has activated successful cause marketing campaigns in partnership with Walmart, CVS, Kroger and Amazon, unlocking more than $1 million to support CARE’s work with women in West African cocoa communities.  
  • Building skills for entrepreneurs, including women, in emerging markets, building on the success and incorporating learnings from Project Maua in Kenya. 

Partners and Collaborations 

  • Committed to the CEO Action Pledge for Diversity and Inclusion to prioritize and drive accountability on inclusive workplaces, including gender. This work is focused on creating space for open conversations, expanding unconscious bias education, sharing both good practice and failures, and engaging Boards of Directors to accelerate action. 
  • A signatory of the EMPOWER Pledge to support women’s advancement to leadership positions in the private sector across G-20 countries — through setting strong internal targets, applying a gender lens to leadership opportunities and fostering an inclusive culture. Raising awareness and progressing their efforts as CEO Signatory of U.N. Women’s Empowerment Principles. The WEPs offer clear guidance and collaborative forums to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in the workplace, marketplace and community. 
  • Chairing the U.K. Women’s Business Council and supporting its work to enable women to reach their full potential, businesses to fully harness the talent of all women, and broader efforts to close the gender pay gap.

SDG 6

  • As part of their Sustainable in a Generation Plan, their long-term, science-backed ambition is to eliminate unsustainable water use in their value chain, beginning with halving it by 2025*. They’ve also set a goal to improve water efficiency at their water-stressed sites by 15 percent* by 2020. As of the end of 2018, they are nearly halfway to achieving this target. 
  • They’ve mapped the total water use across their global supply chains, assessed whether that water comes from natural rainfall or crop irrigation, and begun to work to reduce their water impacts in highly stressed watersheds where they source materials in Australia, India, Pakistan, Spain and the U.S. 
  • In their supply chains, they’re deploying farmer training and technology to advance more sustainable water use. In some locations, they are taking a leading role in water stewardship, collaborating with suppliers, sustainable standards like the Sustainable Rice Platform and Alliance for Water Stewardship, government development agencies and NGOs to drive change at scale in farming communities. One example of this is their work with Swiss NGO Helvetas and the WAPRO water productivity project, where 17 partners from private and public sectors are working to improve food security, water use efficiency and income for over 60,000 cotton and rice farmers in six Asian and African countries.  
  • Where they can’t reduce water use to sustainable levels, they plan to investigate balancing activities outside their value chain, such as landscape restoration, to meet their targets.

SDG 7

  • Mars electricity consumption is 100% renewable in Mexico, powered by a new wind farm in Dzilam Bravo.

SDG 8

  • At Mars, they want to drive new growth models and to establish high-level dialogue with global policy decision-makers to deliver real change. With the establishing of an incubator that will allow the companies involved to experiment with new inclusive ways of doing business and to partner to accelerate, build scale and extend reach – so they can see results and impact faster,”

SDG 9 

  • The SEEDS of CHANGE™ Accelerator fast-tracks growth for early-stage food businesses that are building a healthier and more sustainable future by shaping the meals of tomorrow, and helping to transform the way they eat. They invited applications from companies in the U.S. and Australia, with the offer of a monetary grant and their months of industry expertise if selected.   
  • “The world is changing at a rapid pace with consumer needs evolving and new approaches and technologies transforming business,” said Gary Arora, Mars SEEDS of CHANGE™ Accelerator Lead. “The SEEDS of CHANGE™ Accelerator acts as a catalyst to help forward-thinking innovators bring their purpose-driven food-focused visions to life. And, in turn, they will gain valuable insight to further enable the world they want tomorrow.”
  • Mars, Inc.’s panel looked for companies that are making advances in areas that they consider important in achieving the change they want to see in the food industry.

SDG 10

  • The SEEDS of CHANGE™ Accelerator
  • Mars supports companies that are making advances in areas that they consider important in achieving the change they want to see in the food industry.

SDG 12

  • As part of their Palm Positive Plan, they’ve focused on simplifying their supply chain for palm oil, working to drastically reduce the number of mills they use—from 1,500 mills to less than 100 by the end of 2020—and fostering long-term relationships with suppliers who are, likewise, committed to traceability.

SDG 13

  • Mars committed to a science-based target to reduce their full value chain emissions 27% by 2025 and 67% (two-thirds) by 2050, from 2015 levels. This target is aligned with the global goal in the Paris Agreement to keep climate change “well below 2 degrees Celsius.
  • Mars is already using or purchasing renewable electricity to cover more than 50% of their total footprint, including 100 percent of their operations in Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Lithuania, Mexico, Poland, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. Beyond these 10 countries, they have signed a new 20-year power purchase agreement with Total EREN to purchase 100 percent of their electricity in Australia from solar power starting in 2020.  
  • As part of their full value chain goal, Mars set a target to reduce their operations emission (i.e. from their factories and offices) 42% by 2025 and reaching net-zero emissions (a 100% net reduction) by 2040.

SDG 14

Mars Coral Reef Restoration Efforts Show Progress

  • Their business and the many communities they source raw materials from depend on the ocean and its reefs—for food, income and protection. Yet—up to 90% of coral reefs are predicted to be lost by 2040, threatening 25% of global marine biodiversity with extinction caused by climate change, destructive fishery practices and reduced water quality. Since 2011, they’ve been continuously developing and refining a low-cost scalable method of coral reef ecosystem restoration called the Mars Assisted Reef Restoration System. The method is based on installing a continuous web of “Reef Stars”—hexagonal sand coated steel structures with coral fragments attached—covering barren coral rubble fields and gaps between the remaining live coral on the reef. 

2020 Mars Assisted Reef Restoration System Progress To Date 

  • Within just two years, coral cover has increased from 10% to 60% at key restoration sites. 
  • There has been an increase in the number of fish—approximately 125,000 more fish per hectare of restored reef.  
  • Many new coral species settle underneath and onto the “reef stars” supporting life both within and beyond the reefs.

SDG 15

  • Since the launch of their Cocoa for Generations strategy in 2018, Mars Wrigley has accelerated its efforts to source cocoa from farms that are putting in place measures aimed at protecting children, preserving forests and improving farmer income as part of their Responsible Cocoa program which sets out for suppliers their requirements for the cocoa they source. Knowing the farmer groups and farms that supply the cocoa they source is fundamental to these efforts — especially their aim to achieve a deforestation-free supply chain for cocoa they source by 2025.  
  • Halting deforestation is an important component to the health and well-being of people and the planet. Forests provide habitat for half of all known plant and animal species, regulate local rainfall patterns and provide livelihoods for millions of people, including cocoa farmers, their families and communities. In addition, the clearing of primary forest cover can increase greenhouse gas emissions. That’s one reason Mars Wrigley invests in research and other interventions to help farmers grow more cocoa on existing farmland without encroaching on forests and why ensuring they know where all the cocoa they source comes from is essential.

SDG 16

3 Ways Mars is Pushing the Climate Justice Movement Forward

  • Companies like Mars also have an important role to play in the climate justice movement. There are three things that, if done at scale, truly would make a difference.
  • They must set emission reduction targets in line with climate science. Today, there are 420 companies that have approved science-based targets and Mars is among them. By using science as their guide, they are establishing a pathway for action that avoids the worst impacts to the most vulnerable people. In this regard, ambitious climate targets are social targets too.
  • They have a responsibility to conduct due diligence to identify and respond to risks in their operations and supply chains. Mars has been conducting voluntary human rights due diligence on their direct operations and supply chains, and continues to expand this work. They also support strengthened regulation of human rights due diligence requirements for companies in global supply chains, aligned with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
  • They must use their voice and political power to advocate for climate action and climate justice. Mars has been a vocal advocate for climate action and they are leaning in on climate justice through their support of “Climate Countdown,” the Guardian newspaper’s special series on climate change.

SDG 17

  • Partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to help improve economic opportunity and resilience in extended agricultural supply chains. The partnership marks a new stage of progress in their long-standing combined work to tackle global sustainability challenges and address the root causes of poverty.
 

Through Mars, Incorporated’s Sustainability scorecard and company website, it is apparent that the company is making meaningful progress in its sustainability initiatives. They also have identified specific targets and have detailed their progress including various initiatives as proof of their efforts.

The company produces a solid scorecard and sustainability website, with specific targets and goals for reducing their CO2 emissions, energy consumption, water efficiency, recycling, renewable energy, human rights, deforestation and raw material consumption in implicit alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The company has been accused of unsustainable deforestation practices and unethical child labor practices. This makes Mars’ credibility questionable. However, the company seems to have taken these allegations seriously and has committed to adopting more ethical practices. 

The company has made good strides toward sustainability, but can continue to improve. Due to ongoing issues with human rights violations within their supply chain this company has been rated a C. 

Analyst Outlook: Positive

While the company’s multi-faceted approach toward sustainability is laudable, the company should continue their good progress and achieve higher sustainability rankings/awards. Though their scorecard provides concise information, it would be better for them to include further information about their progress, making it more easily visible, and to demonstrate their alignment with SDGs more explicitly. Mars’ response to allegations of child slave labour in their supply chain will be monitored.

Key Points

  • The company has made a decent attempt at sustainability by establishing an overall framework, approaching sustainability on various fronts, and identifying overarching goals along with specific targets and metrics.
  • The company has recently been accused of unsustainable practices including deforestation in the Ivory Coast and unethical child labor in their supply chain.
  • Mars has developed numerous targeted policies toward more sustainable business practices, including their Human Rights Policy, Supplier Code of Conduct Handbook, and Cocoa for Generations report. 
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