Mars has announced the launch of its new environmental sustainability program, which will include a US$1 billion investment in climate protection. The plan, labeled the “Sustainable in a Generation” plan, will aim to tackle climate change, poverty in the value chain and a scarcity of resources.
Through the investment, Mars hopes to deliver on the Paris Accord and the UN Sustainable Development Goals by tackling a broken, extended supply chain system.
Mars CEO Grant Reid spoke on the launch of the Sustainable in a Generation in a company press release. “If we are to help deliver on the targets agreed in Paris and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, there has to be a huge step change,” said Reid. “While many companies have been working on being more sustainable, the current level of progress is nowhere near enough. Mars has been in business for four generations and intends to be for the next four generations. The only way that will happen is if we do things differently to ensure that the planet is healthy and all people in our extended supply chain have the opportunity to thrive. We must work together, because the engine of global business – its extended supply chain – is broken, and requires transformational, cross-industry collaboration to fix it.”
Mars is also making an effort to build partnerships and coalitions as part of the investment.
Earlier in 2017, Mars launched the Farmer Income Lab, a collaborative “think-do tank” with Oxfam serving as an adviser, which is focused on generating the missing insights needed to eradicate smallholder poverty. Mars also co-founded the Livelihoods Fund for Family Farming, which will invest US$ 142 million to develop sustainable agriculture projects that are improving incomes for smallholder farmers, while tackling food security and restoring ecosystems.
Mars is not the only company making big investments in pet food sustainability. Canidae Pet Food launched Canidae Farm earlier in 2017 in an effort to use more ingredients that the company is directly and actively involved in growing.
To avoid agrarian self-destruction, Canidae uses a system known as integrated farming, with intentions to reduce, or even reverse, the negative effects of agriculture on the soil, water and air. The company’s goal is to make Canidae Farms a nearly closed loop in which crops, livestock, machines and humans produce the resources each other needs.
Pet owners want a lot from their pet food brands. They want primary proteins that suit what they believe is best for their animal. They want grains or they don't. They want something customized, but it has to be easy to understand.
Constraints and crises, like those experienced in 2020, help drive innovation and sustainability offers context.