OTHER SUSTAINABLE RAW MATERIALS
We want to develop sustainable supply chains and are dedicated to working with our partners to figure out the most sustainable way to source what we need. We’re committed to working with industry, governments, suppliers and other partners to make sure we can support the communities we depend on, while sourcing these ingredients responsibly for a better future for us all.
We use a mix of beet and cane sugar in our chocolate and confectionery products. Though our footprint is small with these raw materials, (we use less than one percent of the global supply) we’re focused on ensuring sustainable sourcing practices.
For several years, we have worked closely with our direct suppliers like ASR, Copersucar, Manildra and Suikerunie to make sure our sugar is responsibly sourced, while maintaining the highest levels of quality. Additionally, we’re members of Bonsucro, the leading global group for the sugar supply chain. All the sugar in our UK brand MALTESERS® is certified Fairtrade and comes from Belize.
We make sure to meet all regulatory requirements wherever we source sugar through the AIM-PROGRESS initiative.
Similar to other food makers, small amounts of palm oil are present in many of our products. We are committed to protecting forests and biodiversity, minimizing the carbon footprint of our supply chain, and respecting the rights of affected communities and workers.
See our palm oil policy. »
PRINCIPLES IN ACTION 2015 SPOTLIGHT: PALM OIL TARGET
In 2013, we reached our milestone to source 100 percent of our palm oil from RSPO certified sources — two whole years ahead of schedule. But we won’t let ourselves sit back — there’s always more we can do to improve! Through our GOOD program, we’re working with our expert partner, The Forest Trust, to improve the way palm oil is produced. Our first challenge is to understand where our palm oil comes from and how the supply chain impacts society and the environment. We call this “supply chain mapping,” and in December 2015, we were able to trace 90 percent of the palm oil we use right back to the mill where it came from. These insights will help us protect the environment and improve standards in the supply chain.
2015 TARGET: 100 PERCENT PALM OIL FROM CERTIFIED SOURCES
PROGRESS: 100 PERCENT OF PALM OIL CERTIFIED SINCE 2013 — ACHIEVED
THE ROAD AHEAD: MAPPING OUR PALM OIL SUPPLY CHAIN
Once we understand our palm oil supply chain, we can start working with suppliers to help improve standards and make sure our raw materials are sourced as ethically and sustainably as possible. In 2015, Mars’ palm oil came from mills in 12 different countries across South America, Asia and South Pacific.
We plan to drive:
- Transparency: Gain an even deeper understanding of our supply chain, and make sure traceable palm oil is a routine when it comes to doing business with Mars.
- Engagement: Work closely with suppliers, particularly those who need more support, and meet face to face with all of our direct suppliers annually.
- Transformation: Strengthen our efforts to halt deforestation and respect human rights in our palm oil supply chains.
- Verification: Work with The Forrest Trust to develop new models to verify how well standards are being applied on the ground.
There’s nothing like that all-natural, minty-fresh taste. That’s why we use real mint in 70 percent of relevant products. We’re dedicated to supporting high-quality mint farms and making sure our sourcing practices are sustainable.
We’re constantly developing new best practices to reduce the environmental impacts of mint farming by focusing on how we impact productivity, water usage, efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions. One great example is when our Associates at Wrigley collaborated with the Mint Industry Research Council to educate North American farmers on the environmental and economic benefits of using natural gas over diesel fuel. As of May 2014, these farmers had converted 18 percent of their total mint production from diesel to propane or natural gas, resulting in a reduction of over 8,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide.
In India, another key mint-growing region, our Associates at Wrigley are developing an exciting new sustainable agriculture plan. This plan assesses our economic, environmental and social impacts, and sets strategies to reduce any negative impacts — securing a vibrant Indian mint industry for the future.
Tomatoes are the second most-used raw material after rice at Mars Food. Though we use less than one percent of the global tomato supply, we’re keenly aware of the impact of our sourcing. We work with suppliers like Conessa, Ingomar, Kagome and Solana to make sure we’re doing things right.
Tomatoes are a summer crop, typically grown in warm, temperate regions using irrigation. Ensuring a secure supply of irrigation water is hugely important — that’s why we try to source from areas that use highly efficient drip irrigation. Research suggests that improved tomato varieties and farming practices could increase yields and further reduce irrigation and water content in the fruit.
Some of our Associates are currently looking at other areas in the world where we could source tomatoes. We carefully examine demographic, environmental and political criteria to make sure these new sources are sustainable. Once this process is complete, we’ll apply the water stress index developed by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization to figure out our best, most sustainable options.
Peanuts are essential to us at Mars. From SNICKERS® to M&M’S®, many of our most popular products use this wonderful legume, so we’re committed to working with the rest of the industry to fully understand peanut production and make it a more sustainable process. This work includes:
Jointly funding the U.S. Peanut Resources and Efficiency Measures Report conducted by the independent research firm IHS Global Insight, which found major potential improvements in farming practices among U.S. peanut farmers
Leading a collaboration with industry, government and academic institutions to sequence, assemble and annotate the peanut genome
Chairing the American Peanut Council Sustainability Task Force
Supporting research to develop varieties and farming practices that reduce land, energy and water use while improving soil health
Developing improved logistics to reduce fuel use
Evaluating new roasting operations to reduce energy and water use
We want to do everything we can to create a more sustainable future for corn production. Even though we buy more corn by weight than any other raw material, the amount we buy is a drop in the bucket of global purchases — because of this, we’re not able to positively influence the market as much as we’d like.
Most of our confectionery products and pet food contain corn, corn-based products, such as syrup, starch and sugar alcohol, or meat from animals fed on corn. We estimate that 25 percent of the raw materials we buy come directly from corn and that another 26 percent are at least heavily dependent on it. A reliable supply of sustainable corn is key to our future.
We want to keep delivering the milk chocolate and caramel delights you love. That means taking extra care to contribute sustainably to the future of the dairy industry. Our suppliers include Deutsches Milchkontor GmbH, Fonterra and FrieslandCampina. In total, we buy less than 1 percent of global dairy supplies, and most of the milk that supplies our factories is locally produced.
A strong, high-quality dairy industry is important for our business, the communities we rely on, and the world. By working in partnership with others to promote more sustainable agriculture and responsible sourcing, we can make it happen. This work includes:
Membership in the Dairy Working Group of the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative alongside the largest dairy users and producers in the world
Collaborating with other consumer-brand companies and suppliers through the AIM-PROGRESS Initiative, which promotes responsible sourcing through industry collaboration
Membership in The Sustainability Consortium; other members include the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, which has produced a life-cycle assessment of the U.S. dairy industry
Searching for additional regional and global groups focused on driving positive changes in the industry
WRIGLEY’S: IMPROVING EDUCATION THROUGH PARTNERSHIP
Every child, no matter where they are born, deserves an education. In 2013, Mars partnered with Pratham, the largest non-governmental education organization in India, to provide quality education to children in some of the largest Indian mint-producing regions. Together, we’re increasing the number of kids in schools and encouraging parents to take an active part in their children’s education.
Whether it’s sugar, mint, dairy or other raw materials, Mars is working to create a sustainable supplier base for every raw material we use en masse.