Mars candy company promises $1 billion to combat climate change

October 3, 2017

The world’s largest candy maker is “going all in” to fight climate change.

Mars, Inc. announced on August 5 that they will be spending a billion dollars through the next few years to reduce their carbon footprint.


“We’ve been increasingly worried about overall progress on the big issues, whether that’s climate change or solving poverty,” Barry Parkin, the company’s chief sustainability officer, told Business Insider. “There are obviously commitments the world is leaning into but, frankly, we don’t think we’re getting there fast enough collectively.”

By 2050, the manufacturer of M&M’s, Snickers, Skittles and Twix is aiming to reduce the environmental impact of the business and supply chain by more than 67 percent.

The candy titan’s “Sustainable in a Generation” plan is their boldest environmental move yet. Long a vocal advocate for climate change, Mars was among the major corporations to signed a petition in May against President Donald Trump’s withdraw from the Paris climate accord.

Nevertheless, Mars’ chief sustainability officer said the company was not motivated to take action because of the current presidential administration.

“We’re not interested in the politics here — this is about policy,” he said.

The announcement comes just days ahead of the U.N. General Assembly and Climate Week, which begins September 18 in New York City.


In addition, Mars’ plan will further expand wind-powered operations, increase sustainable food sourcing, initiate cross-industry action groups, and find ways to increase income for farmers, Parkin said.

“Mars has been in business for four generations and intends to be for the next four generations,” Mars CEO Grant F. Reid stated in a press release. “We’re doing this because it’s the right thing to do but also because it’s good business.”

Thinking ahead through the next century, Parkin said the company must “completely change” the way they operate their business and source products, in order to become “truly sustainable.” To date, Mars employees over 80,000 people in 78 countries, according to their website.

The family-owned firm, which earned $35 billion in global sales last year, is making sure the campaign gains traction via its advertizing, too: The company will incorporate wind turbines into its M&M’s ads to champion renewable energy.

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