Working With Others: Mars Partnerships – Sustainability | Mars, Incorporated
Working with Others



Collaboration and open dialogue is key to creating lasting mutual benefits. Both are at the heart of how we do business. These partnerships have helped us grow as a business and, as a result, be able to share what we learn for the benefit of our world.

We work in partnership with third-party certification programs to improve the levels of productivity, labor standards and worker incomes throughout our supply chain. This proactive collaboration is driving industry-wide improvements — and helping us get the reliable, high-quality raw materials we need to make the products you love.

We will collaborate with those suppliers, retail customers, governments, non-governmental organizations and the scientific community that are able to create mutual benefits for all involved.


At Mars, the customer is one of our most important advisors. Our customers range from multi-national retailers to small independent stores, distributors, specialty stores and veterinary practices. We are always measuring how satisfied they are with our products and our relationships and finding ways to improve as a result. Our goal is to be placed in the top third of companies for customer satisfaction in all markets surveyed by 2020.


If our consumers aren’t happy, we’re not doing our job. We are dedicated to providing consumers the quality and value they deserve by offering high-quality products, packaging, advertising and consumer care, and sharing information. Our ears are always to the ground, listening to every consumer contact we receive. That’s how we know whether we’re living up to expectations. Our goal is to reduce consumer complaints by 10 percent each year. In addition to making sure our products are top-quality, we’re always partnering with consumers through our brands to make a positive difference for people and the planet — see Our Brands for more information.


Our Associates know our business the best — we trust them to tell us if something isn’t working. From there, we work together every step of the way to figure out the issue and solve it. We do everything we can to encourage the kind of open, two-way communication that lives up to The Five Principles. And we want our Associates to share their experiences and know we value their contribution to our mutual success.

One way we create an open office culture is through our open-plan offices in all of our locations. By fostering transparency and collaboration, we’re able to take full advantage of all our internal communication channels, including team meetings, quarterly videos from the CEO and segment presidents, and our intranet site. To hold up our end of the bargain, we always respect and work with unions and work councils in compliance with all local and national laws.

Some of the ways we start the conversation include:

  • The Mars Annual Engagement Survey (facilitated by Gallup) helps measure how engaged our Associates are and lets us know how we can improve our workplaces.
  • The Make the Difference Awards draw great nominations from all over the company, rewarding those Associates who make the extra effort to innovate, making a difference for people and the planet.
  • The Mars Ombudsman Program provides a confidential, independent, neutral and alternative channel of communication for Associates to express ideas or any concerns they may have.
  • Our Mars Ambassador Program gives selected Associates the chance to leverage their skills for the benefit of communities and bring their experiences and learning back into the business.


We collaborate with our suppliers in many ways. Through our Responsible Sourcing Program, we work with our direct suppliers as they seek to respect rights in their workplaces, in alignment with our Supplier Code of Conduct. We engage with suppliers on sourcing beef, palm oil, paper and board, and soy in compliance with our Deforestation Policy. And we also partner with them on other raw materials, for example in the cocoa, coffee, fish, rice, mint and tea supply chains. Working in partnership with our suppliers in order to have best-in-class capabilities, sustainable practices and innovation across the value chain is of vital importance to them and to us.


Having open and honest communication with government officials and regulators is an important part of growing our business and creating mutual benefits everywhere we operate. Whenever we interact with government officials or regulators in advocating for parts of our business, we follow local and federal regulations. Examples of some of our advocacy work include:

  • Closely collaborating with the University of Cambridge to draft the Natural Capital Leadership Compact ahead of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio +20), which was held in June 2012.
  • Working together with Change4Life, a U.K. Government-led campaign to combat rising levels of obesity by helping people to eat well and exercise.
  • Actively participating in and promoting governmental initiatives to reduce sodium intakes around the world.
  • Signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the government of Côte d’Ivoire, which underpins our Vision for Change program and commitment to the country’s cocoa industry.


We want the communities, people and pets we work with to thrive and grow alongside us — sustainably moving toward the future, together. Some of our community engagement programs include health and wellness and environmental initiatives that focus on areas that make sense for our business, creating mutual benefits for everyone involved. Our most successful programs involve partnering with communities to understand and meet their needs, often through the Mars Volunteer Program.


Non-governmental organizations are doing amazing, meaningful work around the world — we are lucky to partner with many of them. These partnerships are most effective when we get together on issues that are relevant to our business and the NGOs, so we can learn from each other and ultimately amplify the results of our efforts. Some examples include:

  • Our work with third-party certification programs such as the Rainforest Alliance, UTZ Certified, Fairtrade International, the Marine Stewardship Council and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil to promote sustainable practices in the production of our raw materials.
  • Our involvement in numerous national campaigns promoting responsible chewing gum disposal.
  • Our many partnerships around the world for promoting the positive experience of having a pet.
  • Our support in national campaigns to introduce a meaningful governmental policy response that will enable a rapid transition to a low-carbon economy such as BICEP (Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy) and The Trillion Tonne Communique.

It is our goal to create open conversations with customers, consumers, Associates, government and non-government organizations.