Originally published on LinkedIn by Helen Mills, Vice President, Global Head of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability, Mars Petcare
Today, SHEBA®, one of Mars Petcare's cat food brands, has announced their involvement in the world's largest coral restoration program, with a commitment to restore more than 185,000 square meters of coral reefs around the world by 2029. It’s a massive commitment and comes as the team unveils the results of two years of work on Hope Reef — a restored coral reef off Indonesia that shows how marine ecosystems can be regenerated and restored (and when viewed from above, even spells out the word HOPE in the ocean).
The world’s coral reefs are close to irreversible destruction and if we do nothing, frighteningly, 90% will be gone by 2043. Coral Reef ecosystems are critical to ensuring that our future has fish and are relied on by 500 million people for food, income, and coastal protection.
We are all becoming more conscious buyers — making purchasing decisions that have a positive impact on the planet. For SHEBA®, this means recognizing that pet parents want more for their pets than just high quality, nutritious food — they also want to play an active part in protecting the planet and pets for future generations, and they are looking for brands to lead the way.
At Mars Petcare our actions to drive sustainability are firmly rooted in our purpose: A Better World for Pets — and that also means a more sustainable world for people, pets, and the planet. The foundation for this is the Mars Sustainability in a Generation Plan — where, as an enterprise, we have committed $1bn to transforming our business for positive change for people and the planet.
Mars has worked on coral reef restoration for the past 13 years, investing more than $10m in research, builds, and community engagement. More than 285,000 coral fragments have already been planted and 19,000 reef stars have been installed, all using locally sourced materials.
The results have been dramatic: in just three years, coral cover has increased from 5% to 55% and the recovered reefs have seen an abundance of fish and biomass.
We want to show the world that there’s a man-made solution to this man-made problem — that habitat and biodiversity loss can be reversed. Health oceans are integral to a health planet and restoring coral reefs is one important step in achieving that.
Tackling these challenges will require an unprecedented level of collaboration, commitment, and investment. This is a long-term commitment to doing our bit towards a better world for people and pets and I’m so proud of the team for the incredible work to date. Find out more and learn how you can help here. Every view of the video will help us raise funds for coral reef restoration, so I HOPE you take a quick look!