Sustainable in a Generation

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Our Sustainable in a Generation (SiG) approach and goals aim to minimize the impacts of our operations on the environment, and are based on the best-available scientific data. Read more about how we seek to understand and prioritize the impacts of our business.

Our SiG goals are deliberately challenging. Our ambition is to decouple the impacts of our operations from production volumes. By pursuing absolute reductions, we are committing to reducing our impacts, even when production volumes increase.

On April 30, 2014, we made a significant step towards achieving carbon neutral operations by announcing a massive wind farm that will provide electricity from renewable sources equal to our entire U.S. operations. This marks the biggest long-term commitment to renewable energy use of any food manufacturing business in the United States. To learn more about the ‘Mesquite Creek’ 118-turbine wind farm, click here

Close up of two Mars Associates in a factory
Team effort at Wrigley reduces absolute energy use
Wrigley has cut energy use as production volumes have risen, showing that absolute reductions are possible.

Where We Aim to Be

We aim to eliminate fossil fuel energy use and greenhouse gas emissions from our operations by 2040. We are working on similar long-term commitments for water and waste.

Our targets are based on science and reflect our belief that we must play a role in mitigating the worst consequences of climate change. For comparison, our greenhouse gas reduction goals are more challenging than the most ambitious local, regional or national targets.

We have set hard targets for the short term to build momentum, using 2007 as our baseline year, as this is our first complete data set. By 2015, our targets are to:

  • Reduce fossil-fuel energy, greenhouse gas emissions and water use by 25 percent

  • Send zero waste to landfill.

We set our targets at the beginning of an economic downturn, and production volumes initially fell. As production volumes recover we are working hard to accelerate the introduction of new efficiencies and technologies to keep us on track. This makes our targets, based on absolute terms, not only ambitious but also challenging.

Sustainable in a Generation Commitment Short term
Long term
Fossil-fuel energy use -25% -100%
Greenhouse gas emissions -25% -100%
Water use impacts -25% Not yet defined
Waste impacts Zero to landfill Not yet defined

How We Plan to Get There

Our SiG targets are influencing the ways how we design, build and manage our operations. We are exploring four strategies to help meet our targets. Some will soon make an impact, while others require substantial development and will play a greater role in the future:

  • Operational efficiency: Decreasing energy use, water use and waste through changes in practices and behavior

  • Capital efficiency: Investing in more efficient equipment and processes

  • New technology: Developing and deploying innovations that change the way we do things

  • Renewable energy: Working with partners to generate cleaner power

Our Sustainable in a Generation Approach


Graph illustrating the four strands of Mars Sustainable in a Generation strategy
Four Mars Associates working on Sustainable in a Generation approach at Mars Food in Bolton
Associates Drive SiG Progress at Mars Food Bolton
Associates Craig Heffernan and Peter Low at Mars Food in Bolton, Canada, have saved the equivalent of the energy needed to power 85 homes for a year, and enough water to sustain 65 families for the same period.
Mars Associates sitting at a Sustainable in a Generation workshop
SiG Workshops Roll Out Worldwide

SiG workshops around the world are inspiring Mars Chocolate Associates to identify new energy, water and waste saving opportunities.

 Exterior shot of Viersen Mars Chocolate Factory
Viersen Takes lead in Drive toward Sustainability Goals

Like all sites in the Mars Chocolate network, Viersen, Germany is working toward our Sustainable in a Generation (SiG) goals. Currently, it is the only site in the Mars Chocolate network that is 100 percent on track toward all the SiG goals, having been landfill-free since 2006, and having implemented successful strategies to improve energy and water efficiency.

Exterior shot of Basingstoke Mars Drinks Factory
Mars Drinks Establishes Market Sustainability Steering Teams

To help support, monitor progress toward, and ultimately achieve our sustainability goals, Mars Drinks has launched local market Sustainability Steering Teams. We set up the first in our largest market, North America, in September 2011, quickly followed by our second largest market, the UK, in early 2012.

Site performance data help us assess how effective our efficiency and technology measures are and determine the best future investments. This process has already shown that we need to accelerate our renewable energy activities to keep us on track to meet our energy and greenhouse gas reduction targets.

Our commitment to more sustainable operations is embedded in our culture. We are proud that Mars Associates from our manufacturing, research and development and procurement functions in each business segment consider it a priority to implement our SiG strategy and improve performance at our operations. Teams from each of our business segments, sponsored by the segment Vice President of Supply, are responsible for assessing facilities, sharing best practice, allocating budget and prioritizing technical developments. mars:mars principles in action summary:our operations:sustainable in a generation