The food, beverage and petcare company, whose brands include M&Ms, Starburst and Pedigree, produces 9 million metric tons of product annually.
According to Mars’ Principles in Action (PiA) summary — the company’s annual corporate responsibility recap — as of Dec. 31, 2015, Mars sends no waste to landfill from its direct operations. All of the company’s waste has been eliminated or is reused, recycled or used as an energy source.
For comparison: in 2007, Mars sent more than 146,000 metric tons of waste to landfill.
The sustainability report provides examples of Mars’ waste management initiatives. These include:
- The company’s petcare sites in Melton in the UK eliminated 250 metric tons of waste in two years by separating and recycling different kinds of waste, composting food waste and using any non-recyclable waste as fuel.
- Mars’ Wrigley factory in Poznan, Poland, found a new purpose for waste that cannot be traditionally recycled. Excess gum waste is cut and mixed with other materials and used as fuel, and leftover sweeteners are purified and used as an energy source for manufacturing.
- At the Wrigley factory in Asquith, Australia, disposable solid waste is sent to an off-site bioreactor — the resulting methane is harnessed to generate renewable energy, which is directed back into the electricity grid.
Also in 2015, Mars achieved its target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent, putting the company closer to its goal of eliminating GHG emissions by 2040. The company says a major part of its 2015 reductions were due to its new wind farm in Mesquite Creek, Texas, which allowed it to cut Scope 2 emissions (GHG emissions from consumption of purchased electricity, heat or steam) by almost 40 percent in just one year.
Mars was also among the companies to file a friend of the court brief endorsing the Clean Power Plan.
Most of the largest US businesses have set specific goals to boost renewable energy use to “cut costs and hedge the risks of relying on entirely on increasingly volatile fossil fuels,” the brief says, adding that keeping the Clean Power Plan on track will stimulate more renewable investments, “long-term price certainty” and improve the quality of public health in the long run.