Mars China’s journey towards making its sites “Sustainable in a Generation,” has gotten another big boost, with the Huairou District Water Saving Office recognizing the efforts the company has made to conserve water at its local plant through a 60,000 RMB award ($9,150 USD).
“This is about putting our principles into action, and making a difference to people and the planet through our performance,” said Anna E, Mars China PR and Communication Manager. “Mars has been on a sustainability journey for a long time. As a part of our sustainability program, one of our objectives is to minimize our environmental footprint through manufacturing and supply innovation, and water saving is a very important part of that.”
The government’s Water Saving recognition was an inspiring way to kick off the year, E said. Plans call for further equipment upgrades this year in order to save more water. Water conservation is particularly important in China, which has faced droughts and desertification in recent years.
Improving water efficiency has long been a goal of Mars China. The company has set a target of reducing water usage at the Huairou plant 40 percent by 2012, as compared with 2008 levels. Since 2003, the company has continuously upgraded its efficiency capabilities in order to conserve tens of thousands of cubic meters of water every year, efforts that are particularly needed in arid Beijing, where water is scarce.
And it’s not the first time a local government agency has recognized the company’s efforts: In 2009, Mars China constructed a rainwater catchment pool. A little over a year later, the pool had collected more than 11,000 cubic meters of rainwater, garnering a 150,000 RMB ($22,880 USD) subsidy from the Beijing Water Authority.
But innovative equipment and continual efficiency upgrades aren’t the only ways in which Mars China has embraced water efficiency: A culture of conservation has also been promoted among Associates, whom E said have become the company’s strongest advocates of saving water.
“We are very proud of what we’ve accomplished to save water,” said Huafeng Wang, Utility Power Senior Technician. “We are happy to see our water consumption drop every year. In Beijing, there has been no rain for more than 100 days now. It is great that our efforts have really made a difference and we are happy to be recognized by the government and the community.”
Signs were posted on water-using devices in 2007 asking Associates to use water efficiently, and E said they have risen to the challenge.
“We are walking the talk with respect to our sustainability initiative, even in small ways such as reminding each other to turn off the taps. Everybody contributes,” she said.