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Mars joins the race to net-zero emissions

Food manufacturer Mars has pledged to join the race to eliminate emissions and achieve a net-zero target across its business by 2050.

The business’ efforts will include challenging its suppliers to take meaningful action in their own businesses, while eliminating its entire greenhouse gas footprint (including Scope 3 emissions, such as travel, customer emissions, and product end-of-life) and deforestation in its supply chain.

Mars will also work with farmers to move toward a focus on ‘regenerative agriculture’, and will promote improved agricultural practices, promote sustainable land use and support science and technology in the space: such as genomics research.

According to Mars chief executive officer Grant Reid, the scale of societal intervention needs to be faster and bolder, with the threat of climate change already impacting the planet and people’s lives.

“The science tells us net-zero targets must be broad in their reach, capturing emissions across the entire value chain and plans need to have material, interim targets,” Reid said.

“We can’t wait decades to see progress.

“However, all too often, this simply isn’t the case – and the gaps that exist in some net-zero commitments risks undermining their credibility and, even more importantly, the climate action movement.”

Most net-zero emissions targets fail to take into account Scope 3 emissions, and instead focus on offsetting the emissions they create in the manufacturing and processing of their products, usually by way of ‘carbon credits’. Scope 3 emissions are equally important, however, and can relate to emissions from travel and commuting, waste disposal, and wastewater treatment.

Reid is aware that targeting emissions created outside of its business will be a “significant challenge”, and likely won’t be possible without working with its associates, suppliers, customers, consumers and partners.

“We need to overhaul the supply chains which power global businesses and put an end to deforestation and the conversion of natural ecosystems to drive meaningful change now,” Reid said.

“We can’t use long-term ambitions as an excuse for inaction and delay.”

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