Mars, Incorporated to Launch Independent Platform Aimed at Transforming the Role and Impact of Business in Society
  • Mars to launch new, independent Economics of Mutuality (EoM) platform to encourage collaboration and help shape the inclusive business model of the future
  • The EoM Foundation is built on more than a decade of research by Mars and its academic partners with an ambition in spreading it to other leading corporations, private equity funds, academic institutions and non-profits
  • EoM Foundation Chairman Stephen Badger says new platform will encourage collaboration on a “practical roadmap” in a post-COVID-19 landscape to help businesses deliver a fairer, more evolved form of capitalism 
  • The launch comes at a time of heightened focus on the role of capitalism and ahead of the 50th anniversary of economist Milton Friedman establishing his doctrine on the role of business in society

McLEAN, VIRGINIA (Sept. 9, 2020) — Mars, Incorporated has announced the launch of the new Economics of Mutuality Foundation, an organization aimed at helping deliver a fairer, more responsible form of capitalism through research, education, advocacy, gatherings and publications, and partnering with leading universities and other like-purposed companies and organizations.  

The foundation and its platform will operate independently from Mars, although its start-up will be supported by a multi-year financial commitment and key Mars leaders providing their expertise and passion for inclusive business serving on its board.

Based in Geneva, Switzerland, the foundation will focus on putting more than a decade of research into practice and inviting other businesses to collaborate and implement the philosophies of the Economics of Mutuality (EoM), a management concept which Mars has been exploring since 2007. 

The new foundation’s board [1] will be chaired by fourth generation Mars family member Stephen Badger, who has served two terms as chairman of the Board for Mars, Incorporated and is a current board member. Badger said Mars was seeking to further EoM academic research and expand EoM’s application and practical tools to companies and organizations more broadly. By doing so—help them not only generate financial capital, but measurable, wider benefits for people, communities and the planet. 

He said: "Businesses can be a force for good, and it’s clear from the research that companies working to deliver purpose and profitability do better. The businesses that thrive and succeed long-term will be the ones that create prosperity that is more widely shared. There is ample evidence that the old model of capitalism isn’t working. It’s time for a new roadmap.” 
 
It comes at a time of heightened public debate around the role of business in society—and ahead of the 50th anniversary of the publication of economist Milton Friedman’s doctrine for business to solely focus on “increasing profits.” The discussion has been further amplified in recent months by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Badger added: “As governments and business leaders look at recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s crucial that we evolve how we think about our business models. We’ve been researching and applying the philosophy of Economics of Mutuality in our own business for more than a decade. By engaging other businesses and academic partners through the foundation we look to drive innovation, scale and learning, and accelerate a shift to a more sustainable, inclusive economic model.”

The new organization will include two distinct entities:

  • EoM Foundation – this independent foundation will focus on not-for-profit work, including academic research, education, advocacy, organizing gatherings and publication. 
  • EoM Solutions – this separate part of the organization is a for-profit consultancy that will be owned by the foundation and provide services to businesses, including Mars, that want to embed more mutual and inclusive practices into their operating strategies. Profits from this consultancy will be reinvested in growing the capability or will be distributed to the foundation to fund additional research.

Bruno Roche, former Mars Chief Economist and Managing Director of the think tank responsible for EOM, has left the company to head-up the new consultancy with Nadia Terfous, a former partner of McKinsey in Geneva, Switzerland, serving as Managing Director of the EoM Solutions consultancy.  

Roche said: “In 50 years, the financial capitalism model has gone from efficient to suboptimal. It has reached a point where it is distorting the positive role of business in society and is depriving businesses of growth and value creation opportunities. While transformation of the old model won’t be easy, the more than 12 years of work on EoM and the positive response we’ve received from partners so far gives me hope that what seemed impossible not so long ago is possible, practical and gaining traction.” 

Mars has worked with academic partners at leading academic institutions including Oxford University, the Sorbonne, the Paris School of Economics, Sciences Po, CEIBS in Shanghai, Stanford University, Harvard University and elsewhere to explore EoM as an innovative business management tool. Colin Mayer, Professor of Management and leader of the Oxford EoM Lab at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School, said: “EoM is a ground-breaking concept of management that will have profound influence on business practice, education and research over the coming decades.  Beyond that, we have seen how EoM has inspired our students and lit a fire within them about their futures in business. These are fresh minds, open to new ideas, and it will be their collective passion for this work that truly brings the model to life,” he added. 

EoM aims to provide a set of tools that can be used in a bespoke way across various businesses and scenarios. The model has and is being tested in real-world situations, from developing geographies to well-developed businesses in mature markets. One of those tests includes the successful launch of a micro-distribution business for Wrigley products in Nairobi, Kenya and other rural areas in Kenya. The program is already growing revenue and profits while simultaneously helping to provide social and economic opportunities for the local community. Based on the shared success created by the program, it is being expanded into additional countries including the Philippines, Egypt and India. 

This week, Mars and other like-minded companies and institutions are gathering for the fifth annual Oxford Economics of Mutuality Forum presented by Oxford University’s Saïd Business School and Mars, Incorporated. Held virtually between 9th-11th September 2020, this year’s theme is ‘Transforming Business, Finance and Education to Thrive by Meeting the Needs of the World’.

ABOUT MARS, INCORPORATED

For more than a century, Mars, Incorporated has been driven by the belief that the world we want tomorrow starts with how we do business today. This idea is at the center of who we have always been as a global, family-owned business. Today, Mars is transforming, innovating and evolving in ways that affirm our commitment to making a positive impact on the world around us.

Across our diverse and expanding portfolio of confectionery, food, and petcare products and services, we employ 125,000 dedicated Associates who are all moving in the same direction: forward. With $40 billion in annual sales, we produce some of the world’s best-loved brands including DOVE®, EXTRA®, M&M’s®, MILKY WAY®, SNICKERS®, TWIX®, ORBIT®, PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, SKITTLES®, UNCLE BEN’S®, WHISKAS®, COCOAVIA®, and 5™; and take care of half of the world’s pets through our nutrition, health and services businesses, including AniCura, Banfield Pet Hospitals™, BluePearl®, Linnaeus, and VCA™.
 
We know we can only be truly successful if our partners and the communities in which we operate prosper as well. The Mars Five Principles – Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Efficiency and Freedom – inspire our Associates to take action every day to help create a world tomorrow in which the planet, its people and pets can thrive. The Mars Compass, inspired by the Economics of Mutuality, is used to measure the company’s progress in service of its purpose; The world we want tomorrow starts with how we do business today.

For more information about Mars, please visit www.mars.com. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.

ABOUT THE EOM PLATFORM

The hybrid EoM platform consists of a public benefit, not-for-profit EoM Foundation with no shareholders that owns a for-profit EoM Solutions consultancy, both headquartered Geneva, Switzerland and both having the same purpose to build a global movement around the EoM business / management innovation.  EoM Foundation’s remit is to advance EoM research, education, advocacy, gatherings and publications, partnering with leading universities and other like-purposed organizations.  The remit of EoM Solutions is to apply EoM in the business ecosystems of corporations around the world, including Mars, and to provide EoM executive education training to business leaders. 

[1] The EoM Foundation Board:

  • Stephen Badger, Chairman of the Board: Former Chairman of the Board at Mars, Incorporated
  • Bruno Roche, Secretary: EoM Founder & Executive Director; Former Mars Chief Economist
  • Andy Pharoah: Vice President, Corporate Affairs & Sustainability at Mars, Incorporated
  • Marie Laure Djelic: Dean, The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies Geneva
  • Ann Florini: Clinical Professor at Thunderbird School of Global Management
  • Frank Akers: Chairman, Mars Science Advisory Council at Mars, Incorporated

The EoM Solutions Board:

  • Jean-Christophe Flatin, Chairman of the Board: President, Innovation, Science, Technology & Mars Edge
  • Bruno Roche, Board Delegate: EoM Founder & Executive Director; Former Mars Chief Economist
  • Angela Mangiapane, President, Mars Global Services at Mars, Incorporated

EoM Solutions Key Staff: