Water Scarcity – Stewardship and Sustainability - Mars, Incorporated
water impacts

Water Stewardship

Taking Responsibility for our Resource Use

Water scarcity affects more than 40% of people globally, and that percentage is rising with population growth. Agriculture is the biggest user of water, which means to manage water sustainably, we should focus on what’s grown in our value chains and where it’s grown. We also should factor in the impacts of climate change on the availability of water. In many places, climate change will alter precipitation patterns, not only with more or less rain, but also with changes in the timing and intensity of rainfall that could damage agriculture.

As part of our Sustainable in a Generation Plan, our long term ambition is to eliminate unsustainable water use in our value chain, with a target to halve it by 2025 (from 2015 levels). We’ve also set the goal to improve water efficiency at our water stressed sites by 15 percent (from 2015 levels) by 2020. By the end of 2017, we’d achieved a 7 percent reduction in water intensity.

Mars relied on science to set these goals for better water stewardship. We’ve mapped the total water use across our global supply chains and assessed whether that water comes from natural rainfall or irrigation. When we purchase irrigated crops that are being grown in water stressed areas we aim to reduce our water impacts in proportion to local stress levels, prioritizing our efforts on those watersheds under the most stress where we source the largest quantities of the most irrigated crops. These watersheds are located in Australia, India, Pakistan, Spain and the United States.

Read the details in our Water Stewardship Position Paper


Water scarcity affects more than 40 percent of people globally, and that number is growing. That's why Mars is improving farmer training and technology to deliver an additional 15 percent improvement in water efficiency by 2020.



Within our direct operations, we’re focused on using water efficiently, promoting water reuse and recycling, and preventing pollution through responsible wastewater management. We delivered an absolute reduction in global water use of 18 percent from 2007 to 2015. As we made this reduction we learned that water saving is much more important in water stressed locations, so we’ve now focused on delivering an additional 15 percent improvement in water efficiency within our manufacturing facilities in water-stressed regions by 2020.

In our supply chains, we’re assisting with farmer training and technology that helps advance more sustainable water use. Where we can’t reduce water use to sustainable levels, we may engage in water recharge activities, such as landscape restoration, to recharge water levels to the point necessary to meet our targets. These recharge activities will be in the same watersheds as those where we operate/source and they will be independently verified.

If interventions can’t help relieve stress on a local watershed where we source, we’re prepared to change where we source to protect that watershed.