Mars Associates all around the world seek to create mutual benefits for our business and the people and communities whose lives we touch. Associates have the opportunity to make a difference in the communities where we operate in the form of paid time off to volunteer. We encourage them to get involved in efforts to improve lives and build lasting and meaningful relationships that make our company stronger.
We reward Associates who make a difference in their communities, as well as those who demonstrate responsibility, excellence in line management, innovation and results. It is important to recognize the role Associates play in improving our performance, because our business success is what enables us to create mutual benefits for others. We do this through our Make the Difference Awards.
Our Community Engagement Priorities
Our Community Engagement Strategy ensures we make a difference in areas relevant to our business. We have identified three priorities where we aim to demonstrate visible leadership:
Health and Prosperity for People
Focus: educating communities and providing the tools to improve their health, wellbeing and livelihoods.
Examples of programs we support: nutritional education projects, oral health education projects and projects that teach farmers how to increase yields.
Better World For Pets
Focus: improving pet welfare and the relationships between people and pets.
Examples of programs we support: education about responsible pet ownership and projects that break down barriers to pet ownership.
Focus: providing opportunities for Associates to contribute to or support our Sustainable in a Generation goals.
Examples of programs we support: investing in green facilities, local water conservation and anti-litter education.
All of our Associates are encouraged to act as responsible and responsive citizens of their communities through support of and involvement in projects, organizations and services which work towards the common good and improvement of their community and society. Our business units are also expected to act as responsible corporate citizens through support of appropriate nonpolitical and non-sectarian projects, organizations and services.Forrest E. Mars, Jr. and John F. Mars,in a December 1989 letter to all Associates
Associates have opportunities to support programs within these three community engagement priorities through our two signature programs, the Mars Volunteer Program and Mars Ambassador Program. These programs provide all Associates with opportunities to use their expertise and demonstrate their personal commitment to making a difference. In addition, local site, segment and brand level initiatives support our community engagement strategy.
The Mars Ambassador Program
The Mars Ambassador Program (MAP) allows Associates to spend anywhere from one to six weeks supporting projects run by one of our partner organizations, such as the Rainforest Alliance or World Wildlife Foundation, or a program initiated by Mars in partnership with local sites and communities. Associates can go alone or take part in Group assignments, where teams of seven to 10 people travel and work together to increase their knowledge on a particular subject.
The program creates opportunities for Associates to improve their understanding of communities that support our business, while sharing their skills to increase partners’ capabilities. We support both our operating and sourcing communities. See our case study for some past highlights.
We will continue to engage Associates through the Mars Ambassador Program by extending their in-country experience upon their return home. We will provide more formal internal and external communications channels for them to tell their MAP story, as well as providing an opportunity for them to serve as champions for the program.
The Mars Volunteer Program
The Mars Volunteer Program (MVP) offers Mars Associates up to two days off a year to create mutual benefits for communities by putting our Five Principles into action. Associates usually volunteer at local organizations selected by their sites.
Rewarding Associates for Making the Difference
Our global Make the Difference Awards take place every other year to celebrate Associates who put our Five Principles into action and bring innovative thinking, fresh perspectives and personal commitment to improve our communities, environment, workplaces and business. They reward innovation, responsibility and exceptional effort and help us share best practices across the organization.