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Mars Celebrates Achieving Zero Waste to Landfill

08/01/2016

A healthy and thriving planet is a goal, and a challenge, shared by our communities and Associates all over the world. When Mars committed to become Sustainable in a Generation, we made it clear that we’d turn this goal into results. As of December 31, 2015, we have reached a major milestone on our journey to becoming a fully sustainable business: sending zero waste to landfill at all 126 of our production facilities around the world.

The journey was no easy task. The waste a single person generates each year can weigh as much as 15 people, and the World Bank estimates that this amount will double in the next decade. So, how did we do it? Through the commitment of Associates all over the world, we identified ways to create less waste, and stepped up our recycling, incineration and composting efforts to cut back significantly on the amount of waste eligible for landfills. We also came up with alternate disposal methods for remaining waste, and converted some discarded raw material into energy sources.

Plain and simple – we couldn’t have achieved this great accomplishment without the ingenuity of our Associates. Team members in Poland converted waste to biodiesel, as did some Wrigley sites with excess gum. Waste was converted to bricks in India, garden compost in Australia, livestock feed in Europe, and a dairy production aid in England. Even small changes made an incredible impact: Mars Chocolate Europe simplified recycling by sorting materials into separate bins instead of throwing waste into a single can.

“In 2007, we sent 146,373 tons of waste to landfill – today, we send none. Change like this happens when everyone plays a role. Every single site had to take action, and every site had to solve their own challenge. It took time and effort, but their creative thinking – and even fun – showed that a big business like ours can and must make a big difference,” said Kevin Rabinovitch, Global Sustainability Director.

The motivation and success of our Associates around the world, and their whole hearted efforts to making this possible gives us reason to celebrate. And we have. Over the past month, Mars Associates took a moment to recognize our remarkable achievement. We are making progress towards our commitment to becoming sustainable in a generation, and are excited to continue harnessing creativity to develop a better business for a better planet.