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Mars makes progress on $1bn 'Sustainable in a Generation' plan

Mars Multisales Africa, a division of global family-owned food company Mars Incorporated, has announced progress made on the company's global 'Sustainable in a Generation' plan.

Pedigree pet food production line (Birstall, UK)
Launched last year, the plan is designed to make tangible, scientifically-based changes to the way Mars Incorporated does business globally. To achieve these changes, the company is investing $1 billion over the next few years to accelerate progress against urgent threats to sustainability.

The multinational foods giant owns household brands like M&M’s, Snickers, Pedigree, Whiskas, Royal Canin, Orbit & Airways gum and Royco.

Goals and milstones


Brian Ayling, general manager of Mars Multisales Africa says the company has implemented various programmes in South Africa, across the continent and globally to make sure they're playing their part to reach the outlined goals.

The Sustainable in a Generation plan focuses on three key areas:

• Healthy Planet – Reducing the environmental impacts of business based on scientific metrics laid out in the by the United Nations and compliant with Paris Agreement targets
• Thriving People – Focusing on human rights and improving the working lives of everyone involved in the Mars value chain
• Nourishing Wellbeing – Making sure that all products contribute to the health and happiness of consumers and their pets

Since the implementation of this plan, Mars says it has hit the following global milestones:

• Nearly 100% of coffee, palm oil and rice are now sourced sustainably, with notable strides in fish and cocoa sourcing on the near term horizon.
• Mars has maintained their pledge of zero waste to landfill from direct operations, and renewable energy will cover demand from direct operations in 10 countries by the end of the year.
• More than 93% of Mars manufacturing sites have been reached by a human rights due diligence programme, and 3,500 women in cocoa farming areas have been granted savings and loans programmes.

Cocoa farmer with beans (Cote d’Ivoire)

Local solutions


To reach sustainability goals locally, Mars Multisales Africa partnered with Mpact to implement a new modular packaging policy designed not only to cut costs and increase packing efficiency, but to reduce waste and cut down on manufacturing emissions as well. Through the use of this packaging model, Mars Multisales Africa has saved more than 355 tonnes of paper, and enough water to supply more than 235 households per year. All local and regional manufacturing facilities are also Zero Waste to Landfill sites.

"Beyond this, we continue to find solutions to address water scarcity at our food manufacturing plant in Cape Town. When faced with the prospect of Day Zero due to prolonged drought, the Cape Town plant implemented a system of boreholes, tanks, and Ozone and UV treatments designed to keep the plant sustainable and independent from the city’s water supply. The system was also able to generate enough fresh water to supply all of the local associates water needs as well, should Day Zero occur," says Ayling.

“These actions are just the start of a strong commitment to sustainability,” he concludes.
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