Mars has committed to achieving net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across its full value chain by 2050, aligning with the most ambitious aim of the Paris Agreement to limit global temperature rises to 1.5°C.
Mars is joining the Science Based Targets initiative’s (SBTi) Business Ambition for 1.5°C pledge and the Race to Zero, as the company accelerates its work to achieve net zero emissions by focusing on:
- Absolute emissions reductions across its entire GHG footprint, including all scope 3 emissions such as indirect emissions (eg, business travel, retail customer emissions, use of sold products, and product end-of-life) and setting five-year milestones to drive action and track progress.
- Eliminating deforestation in its supply chain, particularly in key raw materials that have the greatest impact on emissions.
- Linking executive pay to delivering GHG value chain emission reductions.
- Challenging Mars’ 20,000-plus suppliers to take climate action and to set meaningful targets.
Mars CEO Grant Reid says the scale of global intervention must be bolder and faster.
“Climate change is already impacting the planet and people’s lives,” he says.
“To mitigate this real and tangible threat, the science tells us net zero targets must be broad in their reach, capturing emissions across the entire value chain and plans need to have material, interim targets. We can’t wait decades to see progress.
“However, all too often, this simply isn’t the case – and the gaps that exist in some net zero commitments risks undermining their credibility, and even more importantly, the climate action movement. We can’t allow that to happen.
“To deliver meaningful impact and ensure it is fit for purpose, our net zero target covers our entire GHG footprint, from how we source materials through to how consumers use our products and, we’re mobilising our entire business around taking action now and hitting interim targets every five years.
“This is going to be a significant challenge, and we won’t be able to achieve net zero without the collaboration of our associates, suppliers, customers, consumers and industry partners. It’s so important that we work together to drive scale and reach.
“We need to overhaul the supply chains which power global business and put an end to deforestation and the conversion of natural ecosystems to drive meaningful change now.
“We can’t use long-term ambitions as an excuse for inaction and delay.”
Building on existing commitments
Mars says it has been “driving climate action on emissions” for more than a decade with an existing commitment – set in 2009 – to achieve net zero in direct operations by 2040.
The latest announcement builds on Mars’ existing Sustainable in a Generation Plan, advancing its previous pledge to cut emissions in its full value chain by 67% by 2050 and reaffirming an ambitious near-term target to cut GHGs in its full value chain by 27% by 2025.
Since 2015, Mars claims that it has cut emissions in its full value chain by 7.3%, despite the business continuing to grow. In its direct operations, Mars says it has already reduced emissions by 31% and is on-track to achieve its interim 2025 target (42% reduction).
Royal Canin commits to carbon neutrality
Mars’ largest brand, Royal Canin, is promoted as a “global leader” in supporting pet health through nutrition.
Royal Canin will pursue carbon neutrality for its full portfolio in 2025, with its first product range aiming to be certified carbon neutral in 2022. This will be achieved through:
- Projects financed by an internal price on carbon.
- A science-based methodology to calculate each product’s carbon footprint.
- Adhering to the PAS 2060 standard for carbon neutrality.
- A mutual approach with value chain partners to minimize GHG emissions.
- Supporting high-quality carbon credit initiatives for remaining emissions.
Delivering net zero
A full net zero roadmap will be developed and published in 2022 to align with the anticipated SBTi rules on net zero commitments, expected by the end of 2021.
To achieve net zero, some of the initiatives active across Mars include:
- Transitioning to 100% renewable energy.
- Urgently redesigning its supply chains to stop deforestation.
- Scaling up initiatives in sustainable and regenerative agriculture.
- Challenging its 20,000 suppliers to take climate action.