For much of the past decade, many in the pet food industry increasingly have kept future needs in mind while continuing to be productive and profitable today. A major driver for this sustainability mindset has been consumer demand.
In 2010, a Petfood Industry survey found that 62% of respondents cited consumer demand as a key reason their operations are adopting “green” practices. The positive ethical nature of sustainability was the next highest response (57.6%). Other reasons for going green were the effect on their corporate images, potential regulations, keeping up with competitors and cost savings. As a result of their sustainability measures, survey respondents reported a return on their investments in energy conservation, product formulation and waste management.
The sustainability movement in the pet food industry continues. Recently, Mars announced that twenty wind turbines in the Scottish Highlands now provide more than enough electricity to power all 12 Mars offices and pet food factories in the United Kingdom. Mars formed a partnership with Eneco UK to build the 60 megawatt (MW) wind farm using 70-meter-tall turbines near the villages of Moy and Tomatin, Scotland.
The Moy wind farm joins a 118-turbine, 200 MW wind farm in the US to provide energy for Mars’ operations. The Mesquite Creek wind farm in Lamesa, Texas, USA produces enough renewable energy to power all 70 Mars facilities in the US. Both wind power initiatives are part of Mars’ Sustainable in a Generation program, which aims to eliminate Mars’ greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.
Judging by the results of a Petfood Industry survey, petfood companies understand how much consumers, employees and other stakeholders value sustainability: 62% of respondents cited consumer demand as a key reason their operations are adopting “green” practices. The next highest response, at 57.6%, was because it’s the right thing to do.
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