Encompassing themes of its supply chain, operations, brands, health and nutrition and working at Mars, the Principles in Action Summary focuses on progress Mars has made against its ambitious targets set in 2011.
Mars Inc. has published its third annual Principles in Action Summary on Mars.com, which details the company’s approach to business—its progress and the challenges it shares with society while underscoring its commitment to put its Five Principles into action to make a difference to people and the planet through its performance.
Mars remains a private, family-owned business dedicated to the objective first expressed by Forrest E. Mars, Sr. in 1947—to create a mutuality of benefits for all its stakeholders through its operations.
Encompassing themes of its Supply Chain, Operations, Brands, Health and Nutrition and Working at Mars, the Principles in Action Summary focuses on progress Mars has made against its ambitious targets set in 2011 in order to maximize the positive impacts of the business, including its commitment to eliminate all greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 as part of its Sustainable in a Generation program.
“As a company, our objective is to create lasting, mutual benefits for all those involved in our business success. We strive to create positive social impacts, minimizing our environmental impacts and creating economic value,” commented Paul Michaels, president, Mars Inc. “This has been vital to our success in the past and will allow us to thrive for generations to come. In some arenas, we are making good progress; in others we have more work to do. Through collaboration with stakeholders, including our customers, suppliers, governments, NGOs, academics and business peers, we’re committed to addressing these challenges and opportunities. I am proud that delivering against these responsibilities is at the very heart of who we are,” added Michaels.
Demonstrating Industry Leadership
Mars takes an industry-leading position in areas that are important to both its business and society and, where it has the power to effect significant change. By developing open dialogue and strategic partnerships with NGOs, governments and other organizations, Mars has established powerful business strategies that create mutual benefits. In 2013, Mars was recognized for its efforts and named Best Private Company by Ethical Corporation Responsible Business Awards. Such examples include:
Under its flagship Vision for Change program, Mars sought to increase yields and improve farming practices, thereby increasing sustainability of cocoa growing and improving the futures of cocoa farming families. By the end of 2012, 17 Cocoa Development Centers (CDCs) were opened by Mars and its key collaborators in the Ivory Coast, designed to provide farmers with the tools, techniques and training to cultivate high-quality yields.
Additionally, in 2012, the Platform for Better Oral Health, an initiative founded by Wrigley and supported by academics, chief dental officers, public health associations and industry, organized the first European Oral Health Summit at the European Parliament in Brussels and published the State of Oral Health in Europe report, which highlights the challenges of oral care and identifies opportunities for further action.
To deliver against its commitments, Mars needs to redouble its efforts and ensure it can continue to employ all the energy efficiency, technology and renewable energy projects it has planned. To make sure this happens, Mars has linked a percentage of the long-term incentive plan for its top 100 executives to achieve its greenhouse gas emissions reduction target for its operations. On top of that more than 72,000 Mars Associates remain committed to put Mars’ Principles into action every day to help the business deliver on its commitments.
Engaging with stakeholders
At Mars, stakeholder input plays an important role in the development of business strategies. In April 2013, Mars invited experts from leading companies, certification organizations, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and social investment firms to a roundtable discussion to gain their perspectives on how the business can have a greater positive socioeconomic impact. Mars is committed to continuing an open dialogue with its stakeholders as it seeks to ensure a mutuality of benefits.
Other key highlights of the 2012 Principles in Action Summary:
The progress being made by the business against it ‘Sustainable in a Generation’ goals by eliminating fossil fuel energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, minimizing its impact on water quality and availability, and mitigating the impacts of waste by 2040. Water use, for example, across operations has reduced by 18% between 2007 and 2012 contributing to achieving the business target of 25% by 2015.
Expectation to achieve the target of purchasing 100% palm oil from certified sources by end 2013, two years ahead of target.
Achieving a 25% reduction in sodium in its products across the globe from its 2007 baseline—three years ahead of target.
Strong progress on coffee certification targets and expectation to achieve the business target of 100% coffee from sustainable sources by end of 2013.
Receiving the ‘Best of 2012′ award from Nutritional Outlook for Mars’ scientifically validated method of measuring cocoa flavanols.
Establishing the Mars Advanced Research Institute (MARI) in 2013, a networked research institute that drives fundamental research to address critical challenges related to food, agriculture and health shared by Mars and society.
Receiving 20 workplace ranking awards in 2012*, with highlights that include: Great Place To Work’s Best Multinational Workplaces, New Zealand’s best workplace in the medium-to-large business category; Aon Hewitt’s Best Employer in Russia; Universum Top 100 business in Poland; No.1 fast-moving consumer goods company in Italy for the fourth consecutive year, ‘Great Place to Work’ Top 25 Best Multinational Workplace in Europe and placement on Great Place to Work lists including: Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, India, Ireland, Korea, The Netherlands and Spain.
*In 2013, Mars made Fortune’s 100 Best Companies To Work list in the US, as well as being ranked 16 in the category of Best Multinational Workplaces in Europe.