More and more American companies, including a number in the Fortune 500, believe that climate change is a serious problem and are becoming leaders in the effort to solve it.
One of them is Mars, best-known for classics such as M&M’s, Snickers, and Three Musketeers, but also a major producer of drinks, chewing gum, pet care items, and more. This century-old business has annual revenues of more than $33 billion, so its efforts to be a good environmental steward have an impact.
For more than ten years, Mars has been working to meet numerical, science-based goals, including eliminating all fossil fuel use from its operations by 2040. To help achieve that goal, the company (with two partners) opened a 118-turbine wind farm in Texas that generates the equivalent of 100 percent of the electricity needed to power Mars’ U.S. operations.
Those efforts helped the chocolate giant nail down the sixth spot in EPA’s list of the nation’s 100 biggest green power users, released in October. “We applaud Mars’ commitment to use 92 percent renewable electricity, which will help reduce pollution, protect our health and combat the impacts of climate change,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “Actions such as Mars’ commitment and others from our Green Power Partners demonstrate that a healthy economy and a healthy environment go hand in hand.”
Barry Parkin, Mars’ chief sustainability officer, said: “Green power obviously makes sense for society, but it also makes sense for business. At Mars, we’re moving towards renewable energy because we want to stop the devastating effects of climate change on people and planet. But we want to make clear to other organizations that investments in green power will save you money. And not just down the road – right now. Being recognized by the EPA and the Green Power Partnership is an important step for us, and it gives us even more momentum to carry our message forward.” The company’s environmental program is one reason it ranks 85th on Fortune’s 2015 list of the 100 best U.S. companies to work for.
Also in October, Mars teamed up with other leading food companies from around the world to publish an open letter to global leaders pledging individual and collaborative action on climate change. In addition, Mars joined a number of other American companies in signing up to support the American Business Act on Climate, led by President Obama. This is a commitment that aims to rally the business community as well as governments, academics, and scientists to tackle climate change in this country and throughout the world.
So the next time you bite into a Twix or a Milky Way, think about that Texas wind farm or other examples of Mars’ commitment to tackling climate change. That chocolate bar may taste even better.
To read Mars’ entire pledge to environmental progress, visit: http://www.mars.com/global/press-center/press-list/news-releases.aspx?SiteId=94&Id=6768