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Candy Manufacturing Giant Commits $1B to Fight Climate Change

By NexChange

Mars, the world’s largest candy maker, has announced that it plans to commit about $1 billion over the next few years to fight climate change, as Business Insider reports.

The company’s financial commitment comes as part of an initiative that it’s calling “Sustainable in a Generation,” which it launched on Wednesday. The initiative, which aims for a 60% reduction in the carbon footprint of its business and supply chain by 2050, has three stated ambitions:

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

Mars – whose brands include M&Ms, Snickers, Milky Way and Skittles – timed its announcement to coincide with the upcoming UN General Assembly and Climate Week in New York later this month. In a statement, Grant F. Reid, president and chief executive of Mars, addressed the need for global corporations to address climate change issues.

“If we are to help deliver on the targets agreed in Paris and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, there has to be a huge step change. While many companies have been working on being more sustainable, the current level of progress is nowhere near enough.”

“Mars has been in business for four generations and intends to be for the next four generations. The only way that will happen is if we do things differently to ensure that the planet is healthy and all people in our extended supply chain have the opportunity to thrive. We must work together, because the engine of global business – its extended supply chain – is broken, and requires transformational, cross-industry collaboration to fix it.”

Although the $35-billion company was among the corporations who signed a letter in May calling on President Trump to stay in the Paris Climate accord, Barry Parkin, Mars’ chief sustainability officer, tells Business Insider that the $1-billion commitment to climate change is not necessarily about Trump.

“We’re not interested in the politics here — this is about policy,” he said. “We believe in the scientific view of climate science and the need for collective action.”

But he added, “We’re clearly disappointed that the US administration has chosen to withdraw from the Paris agreement.”

Mars said it would meet the environmental commitments set out in the Paris agreement as part of its sustainability plan.

Mars’ $1 billion investment will go toward farmers, food-sourcing, renewable energy and cross-industry action groups – which includes two that it’s already launched called “CocoaAction, an industry coalition aimed at making cocoa growing more sustainable, and Livelihoods Fund for Family Farming, which invests in smallholder farming across the world,” Business Insider reports.

Photo: Mars


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