A Letter from Grant F. Reid 
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A Letter from Grant F. Reid

June 2017

Chief Executive Officer and Office of the President

It’s been almost three years since I took the helm at Mars, and every day I continue to be inspired by the efforts of our Mars Associates. As you’ll see in this report, those efforts include creating a great workplace environment, improving health and wellbeing and responsible marketing, advancing food safety, increasing the sustainability of our operations and supply chains, and strengthening our human rights strategy.

Mars has long believed that our business will thrive and endure for generations to come, if those that we work with – from the farmers at the start of our supply chain, through to suppliers, Associates, customers, consumers and ultimately the planet – thrive as well. This desire to create exceptional business performance by creating a “mutuality of benefits” for Mars and our stakeholders dates back multiple generations, and is carried forward by the 85,000 Mars Associates who it is my honor to lead today. As I consider the last three years, and what we delivered in 2016, I’d say that this has been a time characterized by reflection, decisiveness, strategic change and performance.

The reflection yielded a validation of the company we want to leave for the next generation: family-owned, united by The Five Principles of Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Efficiency and Freedom, and committed to creating enduring, mutual benefits for us and our stakeholders while operating sustainably.

Our decisiveness enabled us to address the dynamics in which we are operating with intentional, strategic shifts. We looked at the way we organize ourselves; the shape of our portfolio; and our commitments around climate change, human rights and health and wellbeing. We are making strategic choices in these areas – all in the service of generating growth that we are proud of as a business.

I’m proud of the passion Mars Associates have demonstrated for continuously raising the bar to address the global threats we face – from obesity to climate change to resource scarcity. It’s our duty as a company and as global citizens to do our part to drive positive, strategic change. It’s also good business practice.

Guided by The Five Principles and informed by science, we’re looking for the most effective ways to minimize our impact on the environment, improve the social impacts we have in the communities where we operate and source our ingredients, and deliver excellent financial performance. This is integral to our business strategy to be relevant to our consumers, our retail customers and our Associates, and to create value for Mars.

We’ve been clear from the outset that we must focus on the areas where we have the biggest impacts and where we can make the most difference. With that in mind, we drew from a number of external models – such as the planetary and social boundaries models, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals – as well as some very rigorous assessments of our own value chain to identify our five biggest environmental and social impacts: greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, land use, water use, human rights and income.

Our health and wellbeing priorities are defined based on the type of product, whether confectionery, dinnertime staple or pet care. But they all have one common goal: that all our brands have a place in a well-balanced lifestyle. One of our clear aims is to drive responsible consumption, as demonstrated by our added sugars commitment, pack sizes that encourage moderate portions, and reformulation to reduce saturated fats and sodium. And for pets, we continue to deliver great nutrition, while expanding our whole range of pet health services.

At the core of our sustainability efforts is the belief that the best outcomes happen when we collaborate with others. That’s why we teamed up with experts at the World Resources Institute in 2016 to develop science-based targets for climate, land and water, and why we stand steadfast in our support of the Paris Climate Agreement. We’ve also aligned with global health authorities around their guidelines on added sugars and salt consumption. And we’re partnering with others on social issues such as poverty and income inequality. As part of my personal commitment, I’ve joined the Board of Directors of The Consumer Goods Forum and the Business and Sustainable Development Commission, so that we can learn from, and contribute to, these organizations in our shared quest to see business as a whole contribute to society. I’m pleased that this year’s summary showcases many examples of our productive partnerships.

As Mars Associates, we are all stewards of the legacy we want to create for future generations, and we take pleasure and have fun when we do it well. This past year we’ve achieved some great things that make us proud, and deserve to be celebrated. These wins also encourage us to carry on when we face particularly difficult challenges, or fall short of our own hopes and ambitions. Forrest E. Mars, Jr., an inspiration to all of us, who sadly passed away this past year, used to challenge us to be “healthily dissatisfied with ourselves.” But equally, “to know that perhaps tomorrow you can do a better job. That perhaps the mountain that you didn’t climb today, you can climb tomorrow.”

My thanks to all of the Associates and partner organizations that are helping Mars be the company we strive to be, and to climb the mountain!