Where Are We Now? This Earth Week, How Mars Is Working to Better Serve the Planet
Mars looks back at some of the Healthy Planet projects we’ve embarked on since launching our Sustainable in a Generation Plan in 2017, and how, together with partners and our Associates, we’re working to make a difference.
The Lion’s Share fund
As a founding partner, Mars helped launch The Lion’s Share fund last summer by asking advertisers that feature animals to commit 0.5% of their media spend to improve wildlife conservation and animal welfare worldwide. Each partner contributes crucially to our goal of ending pet homelessness by 2025.
March came in like a lion this year when we were on the ground at the One Planet Summit in Nairobi, Kenya, to welcome two new partners to The Lion’s Share: Humane Society International (HSI) and the world’s largest outdoor advertiser, JCDecaux.
With more than 200 million homeless pets across the planet, we know we can’t end pet homelessness alone. These partnerships are a huge step forward towards creating A Better World for Pets and a healthier planet where all animals can thrive.
Fish are vital to food security, nutrition and income for millions of people. But today, about 90% of stocks are over-fished, and the survival of many species are threatened.
This year, Mars Petcare has moved to sourcing 69% of our global fish and seafood volume from sustainable sources with a goal of reaching 100% by 2020. Without fish, we can’t make healthy, nutritious and high quality petfood, and we’re committed to doing our part to ensure sustainable supply chains.
Wetlands play a key role in providing habitat for a large number of bird species, and many of the rice farms in Mars’ supply chain offer crucial biodiversity support.
- Our farm partnerships in Italy and Spain cover 12,000 rice-growing hectares, part of it adjacent to Doñana National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the biggest nature reserve in Europe.
- In Cambodia, our farm partnerships working towards the Sustainable Rice Platform also offer sanctuary to the critically endangered Ibis, the Bengal Florican.
- Goose Valley Ranch in California, where Mars sources the majority of our UNCLE BEN’S® wild rice, partnered with California Waterfowl Association to design a 100-acre wetlands habitat with islands, swales and wooden boxes for nesting. In a water-stressed state, Goose Valley is a role model of sustainability and is abundant with wildlife; deer, elk, bear, bald eagles, trout, and thousands of ducks, geese and other migratory waterfowl that feed on the wild rice that remains in the fields over the winter.
Habitat loss is one of the most critical issues facing ecosystems today. We’re taking a hard look at deforestation related to multiple products in our supply chain, including palm, soy, beef, and paper and pulp.
Since launching Cocoa for Generations last year, where we committed to preserving forests and a traceable supply chain by 2025, we’re proud to have already GPS-mapped 24% of our global cocoa supply chain to farm level.
To drive greater traceability and transparency, Mars has publicly disclosed our list of Tier 1 cocoa suppliers and confirmed that 95% of the cocoa we source is traceable to a country of origin and nearly 40% of our cocoa supply chain is traceable to a Tier 2 farmer group. There’s more to do, but we’re committed to accelerating our progress by working only with cocoa suppliers who can be accountable to the milestones laid out in our Cocoa for Generations plan.
Since 2011, Mars has been continuously developing and refining a low-cost method of restoring coral reef ecosystems. Called MARRS (Mars Assisted Reef Restoration System), the method is based on installing a continuous web of “coral spiders” – hexagonal, sand-coated steel structures with coral fragments attached – in gaps between live coral. We’ve installed more than 18,000 “spiders,” incorporating 270,000 coral fragments across two different reefs, equal to 3 hectares. The resulting effort is now likely one of the world’s largest restored coral reef ecosystems and active restoration programs, spread across two island communities in South Sulawesi, Indonesia, as well as a third location off the island of Bali.
At Mars, we take our responsibility to the world around us seriously, and we pledge to create the world we want tomorrow through our actions today. Our Sustainable in a Generation Plan is the embodiment of our commitment to address climate change, deforestation and habitat loss. And while we have much work to do to achieve the goals we’ve set for ourselves, we’re proud of the meaningful steps we’ve taken since launching the plan, and remain fully committed to more progress in the year ahead.