Mars, parent company of brands like M&M, Pedigree pet food and Uncle Ben’s rice, has announced a new roadmap to net zero emissions by 2050. The company has also pledged to halve its emissions across its value chain by 2030, and invest at least $1 billion (£800 million) in decarbonisation over the next three years.
The announcement comes from Mars’ Net Zero Roadmap, which outlines the company’s plans to reduce its emissions from its operations, supply chain, and products.
In 2021, Mars set a long-term goal of achieving net zero emissions across its full-value chain by 2050. Now, the multinational has added a nearer-term milestone of halving its full Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions by 2030, which has been approved in line with a 1.5 °C trajectory by the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi), an initiative it helped create in 2014 and which is now undergoing a significant change.
To achieve these goals, it has also confirmed a need to increase investment in low-carbon solutions in the near term. Mars will invest at least $1bn (£800m) in decarbonisation over the next three years and, beyond that, has stated that it “will continue to commit financial resources as needed” across its value chains.
Mars CEO Poul Weihrauch said that the company is committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050. “We cannot wait for the economy to improve; we must push forward with investments that protect our business today and in the future,” he said.
“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” Weihrauch continued.
The roadmap acknowledges that decarbonisation will be challenging, but Mars says that it is confident that it can achieve its goals. “We anticipate breakthroughs and backsteps alike,” the document states. “But we are committed to this journey and we believe that it is essential for our business and for the planet.”
Mars’ decarbonisation strategy
Mars’s biggest source of emissions is agriculture, which accounts for 38% of the total. These emissions come from fertilisers, energy use, and methane from livestock and rice. Mars is committed to reducing these emissions by 80% by 2050. To achieve this, the company will invest in renewable energy, regenerative agricultural practices, and other measures.
The second-biggest source of emissions is land use, which accounts for 27% of the total. These emissions come from clearing natural ecosystems to make way for farming. Mars is working to combat deforestation through its Responsible Cocoa Program, which aims to deliver deforestation and conversion free cocoa by 2025. Mars is also implementing a robust child labour and forced labour monitoring and remediation system for 100% of at-risk families in its cocoa supply chains.
Logistics and retail account for 10% and 11% of the US-based companies emissions, respectively. Mars is working to reduce emissions from logistics by switching from highly polluting trucks to trains or air freight. The company is also implementing biodiesel vehicles in its fleet. To reduce emissions from retail, Mars is implementing renewable energy in stores and warehouses for lighting and refrigeration, as well as space heating and cooling.
“Achieving Net Zero is an investment into our company’s long-term success, and it is making a meaningful contribution to a more sustainable and more stable operating environment” said Weihrauch.
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