Making Mars sustainable
Mars is transforming the way we do business. From replacing virgin use plastic packaging with eco-friendly materials, to advancing global research on critical food safety challenges, to leading veterinary research on antimicrobial resistance, to rethinking where and how we buy our raw materials, we are constantly innovating to drive positive change for people and the planet.
We know incremental steps won’t be enough to reverse climate change, water scarcity, poverty, and other pressing issues. But we’re taking purposeful action, informed by science and in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, to grow sustainably.
Sustainable in a Generation Plan
Since launching our Sustainable in a Generation Plan in 2017 with an initial $1 billion investment, we’ve made progress to curb our environmental impact, to meaningfully improve lives in our workplaces, supply chains and communities where we work, and to help billions of people and their pets lead healthier, happier lives today and tomorrow.
We’re reducing our environmental impact
We set a 2020 target to keep our absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions flat (against a 2015 baseline), regardless of volume growth — and we have several programs underway across our value chain that impact GHG emissions. In 2019, we reduced our carbon footprint versus 2018 the equivalent of driving a car 50 million miles — in just one year.
By the end of 2021 all our 2,100-plus hospitals across North America will use 100% renewable energy.
Our fish sustainability program aims to reduce our impact and reward sustainably-managed fisheries. Maximizing the use of leftovers allows us to reduce pressure on fish stocks. In fact, we now source 81% of our fish from sustainable fisheries. We’ve also eliminated vulnerable and endangered fish species from our recipes worldwide. And, by reducing our use of tuna filets by 15,000 tons, we’ve left about 57 million tuna fish swimming in the seas.
We’re advancing human rights
There’s no such thing as a sustainable product in unsustainable packaging. Our ambition: Reach 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging by 2025.
Through the Mars Human Rights Policy, along with our Next Generation Supplier Program, we’ve developed a deep understanding of the complex Thai fish supply chain and the human rights risks within it. We’ve cultivated strong relationships with suppliers, government officials and key stakeholders, and we gave a voice to more than 50,000 vulnerable migrant workers at our direct suppliers through the Issara Institute’s Inclusive Labour Monitoring.
We’re working to eliminate plastic waste
Our efforts center on three areas:
Reduce unnecessary packaging. For years, we’ve been focused on reducing the weight of packaging materials of all types, including plastics. We’re also looking for ways to eliminate unnecessary layers of plastics and other materials in secondary and tertiary packaging.
We’ll also reduce our packaging use by shifting to reuse models, where possible. This helps prevent single-use plastics from entering the market.
Our 2025 target is to reduce virgin plastic use by 25% (against our 2019 baseline).
Redesign for circularity. Mars is a core partner of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative, and we share a common vision to support a circular economy where packaging never becomes waste. We’re committed to 100% of our plastic packaging being recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025. To accomplish this goal, we’re rethinking the design of our packaging so it can be recycled and reused. This includes replacing hard-to-recycle packaging including those using multiple materials, into a single material packaging. We’re also eliminating the use of problematic materials, including PVC, across all packaging.
Invest to close the loop. Even when a package is designed to be recyclable, reusable or compostable, it won’t be without the right consumer behaviors, collection, sorting systems and infrastructure. Today, valuable materials are being thrown away every day in every market where we operate around the world. To advance toward a future where packaging never becomes waste, we need the recycling and regulatory environment to evolve in significant ways. Our plan is to use 30% recycled content, on average, across our plastic packaging portfolio by 2025. By purchasing recycled content, we’re encouraging investment in recycling systems. This closes the loop, taking the output from recycling systems and putting it back into our packaging.
By reducing the packaging we don’t need, redesigning the packaging we do need, and investing to close the loop, we believe we can help build a circular economy where packaging never becomes waste.
Celebrating Petcare’s sustainability successes
Our Purpose isn’t possible without creating a healthy planet where people thrive. We’ve been on our sustainability journey since 2010 and have much to be proud of:
Waste: Our sites contribute zero waste to landfills, worldwide.
Forests: We purchase 100% of our Brazilian soy with sustainable sourcing credits from certified sources.
Energy: Ten of our factories in Europe run on 100% renewable electricity, and 100% of Pet Nutrition’s electricity use is renewable in the U.S., U.K. and Mexico. Additionally, 62% of our Pet Nutrition and Royal Canin site electricity use is renewable. And in Royal Canin, we’ve reached 100% renewable electricity use at our sites in the U.S., Austria, France and Argentina.
Oceans: By the end of 2020, we project 92% of our fish will be from environmentally sustainable fisheries.
Packaging: In 2019, we took significant steps forward in our journey toward sustainable packaging, including our Perfect Fit reusable package pilot, removal of the equivalent of over 200 million wet pet food pouches through packaging redesign in Russia by reducing bag thickness, and successfully testing recyclable plastic dry bags. These innovations have the potential to boost sales, reduce costs, and improve our environmental footprint as we consider taking them and others to scale in the years ahead.
Supply Chain: 51,000 workers at our fish supplier sites in Thailand now have access to support hotlines, and we’re promoting human rights on vessels with the Thai government and industry.
These are just a few examples, and there’s much more work to be done. But we’re well on our way to becoming Sustainable in a Generation!