Earlier this summer, Mars joined 27 other U.S. companies in urging President Donald Trump to keep the United States in the Paris Agreement on climate change.
“By expanding markets for innovative clean technologies, the agreement generates jobs and economic growth,” said the letter, which appeared in full-page newspaper ads across the country. “U.S. companies are well positioned to lead in these markets. Withdrawing from the agreement will limit our access to them and could expose us to retaliatory measures.”
Trump ultimately decided to pull out of the agreement. However, American companies are committing to meeting those standards anyway. Last week, Mars, the $35 billion food company that makes M&Ms and Twix, announced that it will commit $1 billion to fighting climate change.
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Sustainable in a Generation
The plan, which is called Sustainable in a Generation, pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the company by 67 percent by 2050.
“We’ve been increasingly worried about overall progress on the big issues, whether that’s climate change or solving poverty,” Barry Parkin, Mars’ chief sustainability officer, said in an interview with Business Insider. “There are obviously commitments the world is leaning into but, frankly, we don’t think we’re getting there fast enough collectively. We’re trying to go all in here.”
“We’re a food business, which is based on agriculture, so we care a lot about the farmers who supply us around the world,” he added. “It’s towards 1 million farmers around the world who produce raw materials for us.”
Parkin says that climate change will affect those farmers and ultimately Mars the company. “We care about this both on a societal level but also on a business level.”
Mars already relies on wind to power its U.S. and U.K. operations, and has committed to building wind and solar farms in nine additional countries by next year. The plan will also include investments in food sourcing, farming and cross-industry action groups.
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