Our Approach to Sustainability | Sustainable in a Generation | Mars Inc.
our approach to sustainability

Building a Sustainable Business

Making an Impact with Our Operations and Our Value Chain

Whether in our own operations or deep within our supply chains, sustainability remains firmly front of mind as we continue to create growth we are proud of.

The global threats we face — from climate change to resource scarcity — affect us all. We’re working hard to build a sustainable business that operates within planetary boundaries and delivers positive social impact. We launched our Sustainable in a Generation Plan in 2017 with a $1B investment over the next few years to accelerate progress against urgent threats like climate change, water stress, poverty in agricultural supply chains and obesity. And we're working to make sure that the people we rely on — from smallholder farmers to suppliers — benefit from the growth of our business.

Today’s global agricultural supply chains are broken and require transformational change. By focusing on what is broken, Mars has begun to explore how global companies like ours can create solutions. To start we must move beyond a commodity mindset to instead consider the role business and corporate buying can play in advancing better circumstances for people and the planet we share.

Because everyone deserves a sustainable future.

Our Sustainable in a Generation Plan

We are currently implementing our Sustainable in a Generation Plan to grow in a way we can all be proud of. Combining business principles with science to shape our approach, we are focusing on three interconnected ambitions that foster our commitment to investing in the future, taking a long-term view and leaving the world in a better place for future generations.

  • Healthy Planet — Our ongoing goal is to reduce environmental impacts in line with what science says is necessary to keep the planet healthy.
  • Thriving People — Our ongoing goal is to significantly improve the working lives of one million people in our value chain to help them thrive.
  • Nourishing Wellbeing — Our ongoing goal is to advance science, innovation and marketing in ways that help billions of people and their pets lead healthier, happier lives.

Where We Are at in the Sustainable in a Generation Plan

Our 2017-2018 Report

Our Sustainable in a Generation Plan sets new, transformational ambitions focused on growing in ways that are good for people, the planet, and our business.

One area where we’ve traditionally measured progress and impact is Sustainable Sourcing.

You can download our full report to see everything that’s been done in the first year of our Sustainable in a Generation Plan.


Sustainable Sourcing

100% of packaging recyclable by 2025

100% of cocoa from certified sources by 2020

100% of fish and seafood from certified sources, or those endorsed as sustainable, by 2020

100% of rice from farmers working toward sustainable standards by 2020.

100% of black tea from certified sources (ongoing)

100% of coffee from certified sources (ongoing)

100% of palm oil from certified sources (ongoing)

Also, you can see how we prioritize, set and track our five impact goals in the chart below.

We prioritize the greatest impacts
across our value chain.
We set long-term targets. We track our progress using
scientifically credible metrics.
Land The world needs to produce enough agricultural land to feed its growing population — without cutting down forests. That’s why we want a deforestation-free supply chain. Our Deforestation Policy targets our four raw materials with the greatest impact on forests: beef, palm oil, pulp and paper, and soy. Mars is committed to taking action on deforestation in our supply chains. We will achieve this by only sourcing beef, palm oil, pulp and paper, and soy from producers and suppliers that comply with our Deforestation Prevention Policy, within the timeframe specified for each raw material. 

In 2015,

  • 86 percent of our palm oil can be traced back to the mill. We’re aiming to map beef, pulp and paper, and soy supply chains by the end of 2016.
Greenhouse Gases (GHG) Climate change affects the crops we need for our products and the farmers who grow them. We support global GHG targets to limit temperature rise to 2 °C. We will eliminate GHG emissions from our direct operations by 2040. We’ve reduced GHG emissions from our operations by 25 percent since 2007. We are currently developing metrics to measure GHG emissions across our entire supply chain.
Water 97 percent of our water use is at the farm level where the agricultural raw materials we depend on are grown. Over a third of our production plants are in high water-stress areas. Responsible water use is critical to maintain our license to operate. From 2007 to 2015, we will reduce water use in our factories and offices by 25 percent. We reduced our water use by 16.9 percent compared to 2007, and we’re still determined to work hard and reach our goal. We’re now also developing new targets for the most water-intensive sites and raw materials.

Download our Income Position Statement

More than two billion people depend on smallholder farms for their livelihoods. Better incomes generate mutual benefits — improved livelihoods for farmers and a secure supply of raw materials for Mars. We believe everyone working within our supply chains should earn sufficient income to maintain a decent standard of living. We are working on supply chain transformation for cocoa, mint, rice and vanilla, to significantly increase farmer incomes towards a decent standard of living. We are also launching a Farmer Income Lab: a collaborative “think-do tank” here to address the critical questions we need to answer in order to improve farmers’ incomes to the scale required.
Human Rights From farms to factories to our own workplaces, we believe that the human rights of everyone in our value chain should be protected and respected. Our Human Rights Policy is our commitment to identifying, mitigating and preventing adverse impacts on human rights, and taking appropriate remedial action. Our Supplier Code of Conduct lays out our human rights expectations of our first-tier suppliers.  In our extended agricultural supply chains, we take steps to advance respect for human rights. 
As we take action on human rights, we use CARE framework, which is based on the UN Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights. We’re developing targets that can be used to our progress.