How Mars Inc. Is Meeting Its Environmental Goals

Mars Inc. is known for making candy and pet food. Now the company can be known for achieving its zero waste to landfill goal. As of December 31, 2015 none of the company’s 126 manufacturing sites globally sends waste to landfill. In 2007, Mars sent over 154,000 tons of waste to landfill. 

Mars makes good use of the old adage reduce, reuse and recycle. And it is by adhering to that adage that it has achieved zero waste to landfill. Take its Mars Petcare manufacturing site in Melton, U.K. which reached zero waste to landfill ahead of the 2015 deadline. All of the waste generated onsite is either reused, recycled or used as fuel. The site also composts food waste. Through its efforts, the Melton site has eliminated 250 tons of waste previously sent to landfill in two years. 

All of the company’s Mars Chocolate sites in continental Europe reached the zero waste to landfill goal three years ahead of the 2015 target. They achieved the goal early through the efforts of a team of associates with the support of local management. The associates take time to sort through waste materials instead of throwing it into one bin to make it easier to recycle. The different sites have relationships with local recycling companies and one site works with various companies that turn waste into feed for local livestock. Another site sends waste to a local composting business. 
Mars met another goal last year and that goal is reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 25 percent.

That brings the company closer to meeting its goal to eliminate its GHG emissions by 2040. Renewable energy is a big part of how it has reduced its emissions. Mars has two wind farms: one in Lamesa, Texas and one in Moy, Scotland. The Mesquite Creek Wind Farm opened in February 2015. Mars partnered with Sumitomo Corporation of Americas to build the 200 megawatt (MW), 118-turbine Mesquite Creek Wind Farm. Developed by both Sumitomo Corporation and BNB Renewable Energy, the wind farm is on over 25,000 acres, an area the size of Paris, France. 

The Mesquite Creek Wind Farm generates 100 percent of the electricity needs of the company’s U.S. operations, but it doesn’t take any energy directly from it to power its operations. Instead, it underwrote the project in order to receive all of the renewable energy certificates (RECs) from the wind farm. In one year the wind farm allowed Mars to cut its scope 2 emissions (emissions from the use of purchased electricity, heat or steam) by almost 40 percent.  

The wind farm in Moy, Scotland has 20-turbine  and generates the energy equivalent to what it takes to power all 12 of the company’s U.K. sites. It has a capacity of 60 MW and an annual output of 125,000 MW hours and supplies electricity to all of the U.K. sites that make Mars’ products. The power generated equals the power used by 34,000 average U.K. households. 

Mars uses other forms of renewable energy to power its manufacturing sites. The Mars Petcare site in Bokros, Hungary uses local thermal springs for heating and hot water, which reduces the use of natural gas by 80 percent. The Wrigley factories in Poznan, Poland and Porici, Czech Republic treats wastewater anaerobically to create biogas. The Mars Chocolate site in Nevada has a 4.4 acre solar garden generating 1.25 million kilowatt hours of energy a year. It provides 100 percent of the site’s electricity needs on sunny days and reduces GHG emissions by 867 tons a year.

Photo: Mars Inc.