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Mars UK: a giant leap towards sustainability

 

At Mars, as one of the world’s largest food manufacturers, we recognise that we are in a position to positively influence and advocate for policy change. We can do this through leading by example, making bold commitments and meeting our own ambitious targets to tackle the impact we have on the environment.

That’s why we attended historic COP21 in Paris last year, which led to the world’s leaders signing the Paris agreement in April – making a commitment to reducing their global impact on climate change.

This month, Mars Incorporated has taken a momentous step towards these targets, announcing that we will run on carbon-neutral electricity in the UK going forward. Thanks to the new 20-turbine Moy Wind Farm, located just south of Inverness in the Scottish Highlands, Mars UK factories and offices will now be able to produce Mars’ best-loved brands— including MARS®, PEDIGREE®, WHISKAS®, EXTRA® and UNCLE BEN’S® – using renewable electricity.

Owned and operated by Eneco UK, each year the Moy wind farm will have an output of 125,000 megawatt-hours of energy – that’s the equivalent to 100% of Mars UK’s factory and office electricity use, or producing a staggering 1.8 billion WHISKAS® pouches.

Moy wind farm, InvernessMoy wind farm, Inverness

However, this giant leap is just one of the steps we have taken to put the sustainability of our operations at the heart of what we do. Since 2007, we have been building our Sustainable in a Generation programme to minimise the impact of our operations on the environment. As part of this, Mars Petcare is proud to have made number of commitments to environmental sustainability – from the ingredients we use and how we package and recycle our products.

Our global zero waste to landfill target is an example of this and one which we have achieved in the UK. Waste from all of Mars UK’s sites are reused, recycled or used to produce fuel. We have done this by separating and recycling waste streams, sending food waste for anaerobic digestion and using any non-recyclable waste as fuel. For instance, our Melton site eliminated 250 tonnes of land-filled waste in just two years.

Moy wind farm infographic © Mars UKMoy wind farm infographic © Mars UK

In addition, in March 2010 we made an industry first commitment to source 100% sustainable fish and fish by-products by 2020 and are currently tracking well against our targets.

Our ongoing partnership with WWF is another way in which we can show our commitment to building a more sustainable world. Through our WHISKAS® brand we have supported the WWF Tiger’s Alive campaign since 2013 – and in the UK raised over a staggering £900,000 – as well as raising awareness of the plight of wild tigers through our advertising and digital campaigns.

The money raised has included particular support for tiger conservation in the Terai Arc area of Nepal, where we have helped fund anti-poaching patrols and community activities. This support has enabled Nepal to continue to lead the way in the crucial goal of achieving zero poaching.

Indian tiger cub © Martin Harvey / WWFIndian tiger cub © Martin Harvey / WWF

Our partnership has also led to other opportunities – Mars Petcare is amongst other UK businesses and organisations who have recently signed up to a new UK forum – UK Stakeholders for Sustainable Development, which will explore the UK’s role in supporting delivery of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Climate change is a serious issue that is affecting all of us. From floods in Bangladesh to droughts in California, our changing planet is putting lives and livelihoods at risk. As a private, family-owned business we believe we have more freedom than others to make long-term investments and tackle shared challenges facing both our business and society such as climate change and renewable energy in an innovative way.

We are proud of what we have achieved to date, but we know that this is just the start of a long journey. With our announcement to operate on carbon-neutral electricity in the UK, and the steps we continuously take both in this country and around the world, we remain committed to helping tackle the most important global issue of this century.

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