Mars to Spend $1B to Combat Climate Change

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – The agriculture sector is not only a major contributor to climate change, but also among the sectors most impacted by it. Agriculture can be one of the keys to address the problem of climate change. By some estimates, sustainable farming can potentially mitigate about six giga-tons of carbon equivalent by 2030, mainly by improving the capacity to absorb organic carbon in land and vegetation.

Looking into this potential of agriculture, Mars has launched its Sustainability in a Generation plan, aiming to reduce the carbon footprint of its business and supply chain by more than 60 percent by 2050. The chocolate giant has pledged to spend $1 billion on this plan, which will involve reduction in GHG emissions and promotion of sustainable farming.

Barry Parkin, Mars' chief sustainability officer, said that the company is in the food business, which is based on agriculture. The new sustainability plan will support one million farmers worldwide who produce raw materials for the company. According to Parkin, it is time for companies to accelerate their game and work together with governments and civil society to fight climate change.

Mars said it would meet the environmental commitments set out in the Paris agreement as part of its sustainability plan. The company’s $1 billion sustainability drive will include investments in:

Renewable Energy

Mars plans to have wind-powered operations in 11 countries around the world, including Russia, China, Australia, and India, by next year.

Food Sourcing

The company, which also makes pet food under brands including Whiskas and Pedigree, will invest in sustainable sourcing for ingredients such as fish.

Cross-industry Action Groups

Mars has set up groups like CocoaAction, an industry coalition aimed at making cocoa growing more sustainable, and Livelihoods Fund for Family Farming, which invests in smallholder farming across the world.

Farmers

A large part of the sustainability investment will go upstream in working with farmers and helping farmers transform the way they grow crops to be both more environmentally sound and increase their income.

Source: Business Insider

Image: BI/Reuters/Luc Gnago