As part of the Sustainable in a Generation Plan, Mars set an ambitious Climate Action goal to reduce our carbon footprint by 27% by 2025 and 67% by 2050. To tackle our greenhouse gas emissions, we are working to improve how food is produced throughout our extended supply chain. We estimate that four-fifths of our full value chain carbon footprint comes from agricultural and land use change emissions associated with sourced ingredients we use to make our products. Therefore, we are working to transform key supply chains by partnering with suppliers, producers and others to prevent deforestation and produce ingredients more efficiently to reduce our carbon footprint.
Mars recognizes the importance of forests and the role supply chains play to remove unsustainable pressures on the environment. With our 2015 Pulp & Paper-Based Materials Sourcing & Deforestation Policy, we set a policy to source paper-pulp and paper-based packaging that is free from deforestation and degradation. By the end of 2019, we achieved the following results:
- Traced 95% of our virgin pulp and paper-based packaging back to the country of harvest annually since 2016.
- Sourced 65% of our paper-based packaging as recycled/certified, which puts us on track to achieve at least 95% of our paper-based packaging as recycled or certified virgin fiber by the end of 2020.
- Engaged and invested in landscape-level solutions in targeted high-risk sourcing origins using our traceability insights (described below).
While the actions that Mars and other companies have taken over the last few years are important steps, the fact remains global demand for paper and other forest-derived products continues to grow. Over the same period, old-growth forest, rich in carbon and biodiversity and never previously clear-cut, have been felled for pulpwood and timber production, from the boreal to the tropical forests. However, forest fiber materials also can be the reason forests remain standing and healthy, when managed responsibly. With these insights, Mars is refreshing our Pulp & Paper Action plan to update and renew our efforts to prevent forest degradation or deforestation in our supply chain. This Action Plan articulates our approach to implementing Mars global Deforestation and Land Use Change Position in our pulp & paper supply chain.
Our Ambition & Supply Chain Solutions
As part of the Sustainable in a Generation Plan, and taking everything we have learned in the past few years, we are more committed than ever to building a responsible supply chain for all pulp and paper-based packaging materials sourced by Mars, while fostering a sustainable forestry sector.
Mars remains committed to stop deforestation and forest degradation in our pulp and paper supply chain. We will work toward this through the following goals:
- Tracing 100% of virgin pulp and paper-based packaging to at least country of harvest annually.
- Sourcing 100% of pulp and paper-based packaging from certified, verified or recycled sources by the end of 2020.
- Ensuring virgin pulp and paper that we source from areas assessed as high-deforestation risk must be certified by Forest Stewardship Council.
What is Supply Chain Traceability?
Traceability enables us to define country of harvest risk our suppliers have in their value chain. Since 2016, we have used this traceability data to take an evidence-based approach to inform our strategic choices. We will update our traceability annually to maintain visibility of the country of harvest of our virgin fiber and our supply chain partners to make business decisions about the supply chain partners who do not maintain traceability.
Supply Chain Certification and Verification
Given the global nature of our supply chain, we will assure compliance using:
- Certification to a credible, independent standard that demonstrates compliance with our Sustainable Sourcing Principles:
- Mars has a strong preference for FSC Forest Management and Chain of Custody certification.
- Mars also will accept products certified under national schemes approved by the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification, but only in countries that have robust legal enforcement.
- Reliable verification tools and approaches, such as Forest in Focus, that use independent indicators to verify that the wood fiber we use originates from responsibly managed forests at the landscape level.
Preference for Recycled Paper Pulp in our Supply Chain
To reduce our use of virgin fiber, we will maintain a preference for recycled fiber where feasible and where we believe is a more sustainable alternative to virgin fiber. The final choice of fiber will be determined by quality and food safety requirements, product specification and performance and legal requirements.
Landscape Programs in High-Risk Origins
Based on the risk assessments carried out with support of Earthworm Foundation and our traceability back to at least country of harvest, we will continue to engage our suppliers in sourcing areas assessed as high risk to support concrete and scalable programs on the ground. We will work with stakeholders from local governments, civil society organizations and communities whose livelihoods depend on the forest landscape. These programs will be led by credible expert organizations (such as the Mars partnership with Earthworm Foundation) that tackle sustainable forestry issues in these high-risk geographical locations.
As we move forward in implementing this Action Plan, Mars will continue to work with government, industry, communities and civil society stakeholders. Each year we will compare our ongoing progress against our commitments and each of our strategic choices.