Mars, Inc. has launched an ambitious net-zero roadmap to combat greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Verified by the Science Based Targets Initiative, the plan sets a target to halve emissions (about 15 million tonnes) by 2030, using 2015 as a benchmark, and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. The company reports a significant 8% reduction in absolute emissions (equivalent to 2.6 million tonnes) since its emissions peak in 2018.
Mars is committing over $1 billion to this initiative over the next three years, with ongoing financial support until net-zero emissions are attained. This plan is open-source, providing a template for businesses across sectors to swiftly implement impactful net-zero strategies.
To achieve these goals, Mars will:
- Shift to 100% Renewable Energy: This encompasses changes in energy sourcing for plants, offices, veterinary hospitals, and farms, along with addressing energy consumption by retailers, consumers, and pet owners.
- Combat Deforestation in Supply Chains: Mars will enhance transparency and traceability of crucial ingredients like cocoa, soy, and beef.
- Advance “Climate Smart Agriculture”: Collaboration with farmers will focus on regenerative agriculture practices, sourcing optimization, and renewable energy adoption.
- Develop Low GHG-footprint Ingredients: For both human snacks and meals, as well as alternative proteins for pet foods.
- Optimize Logistics: This includes reimagining networks, transport methods, and energy sources, potentially incorporating “green hydrogen” and electric vehicles.
- Integrate Climate Action into Business Operations: Embedding emission reduction strategies into governance, business planning, executive compensation, investment processes, and merger and acquisition strategies.
Poul Weihrauch, CEO of Mars, emphasizes, “2050 can seem to be in the distant future, but 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’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.
Weihrauch adds, “As I have said before, profit and purpose are not enemies,” asserting that investing in emissions reduction is not a trade-off between profitability and environmental stewardship but rather a sound, achievable, and imperative business strategy. Mars’ net-zero roadmap aligns with recent findings indicating a global preference for businesses prioritizing climate change action over economic challenges. Additionally, the IPCC’s urgent call for decisive climate action reinforces the critical nature of such initiatives.