Mars: To Transform Raw Materials Supply, We Must Work Together
Mars has just published its fourth annual Principles in Action Summary, which details how the company runs its huge business. And it makes for interesting reading.
This 100-year-old family-owned, family-run company has net sales of more than $33 billion. It has six business units (including chocolate, pet care and food and drink), 75,000 staff dotted in locations across the planet and a plethora of well-known brands (from Galaxy and Uncle Ben's to Sheba and Skittles). And it well understands its position in the world and wants to drive positive change at the intersections where it can make a big difference — not least in driving better practices in farms in the developing world.
At the offices of the company's London-based communications agency, I caught up with Mars's global sustainability director, Kevin Rabinovitch, to find out how the business is using its scale to create change where it is needed most.
Tom Idle: This latest Principles in Action document covers a lot of ground. How long has this sustainability strategy been in its current guise? And how is it managed across the company?
Kevin Rabinovitch: We started having a more organized approach to sustainability about seven years ago. Prior to that, our behaviors and approaches were driven by the Five Principles [of quality, responsibility, mutuality, efficiency and freedom]; that goes back decades. But in 2007 we realized a need and value to have a more structured approach and that is what prompted our Principles in Action...