Sustainable Raw Materials – Sustainability | Mars, Incorporated
Other Raw Materials

OTHER SUSTAINABLE RAW MATERIALS

We want to develop sustainable supply chains and are dedicated to working with our partners to figure out the most sustainable way to source what we need. We’re committed to working with industry, governments, suppliers and other partners to make sure we can support the communities we depend on, while sourcing these ingredients responsibly for a better future for us all.

SUGAR

We use a mix of beet and cane sugar in our chocolate and confectionery products and source most of it within the region in which it will be used, including Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Mexico, the Netherlands, the U.K. and the U.S. Though our footprint is small with these raw materials, (we use less than one percent of the global supply) we’re focused on ensuring sustainable sourcing practices.

For several years, we have worked closely with our direct suppliers like ASR, Copersucar, Manildra and Suikerunie to make sure our sugar is responsibly sourced, while maintaining the highest levels of quality. Additionally, we’re members of Bonsucro, the leading global group for the sugar supply chain. Currently, none of our sugar is Bonsucro-certified, but sugar is one of the priority materials under our new sustainable sourcing strategy. All the sugar in our UK brand MALTESERS® is certified Fairtrade and comes from Belize.

We make sure to meet all regulatory requirements wherever we source sugar through the AIM-PROGRESS initiative.

PALM OIL

Similar to other food makers, small amounts of palm oil are present in many of our products. Although we use just 0.2 percent of global palm oil supplies, we are committed to protecting forests and biodiversity, minimizing the carbon footprint of our supply chain, and respecting the rights of affected communities and workers.
See our palm oil policy. »

PRINCIPLES IN ACTION 2016 SPOTLIGHT: PALM OIL TARGET

In 2013, we reached our goal to source 100 percent of the palm oil in our products from certified sources. We’ve maintained this goal but we’re always looking for more ways to do better. Working with The Forest Trust, we’re improving the way palm oil is produced by mapping our supply chain. In 2016, 100 percent of the palm oil we used was traceable back to the mill. For more information, take a look at our palm oil update from November 2016.  

ONGOING TARGET: 100 PERCENT PALM OIL FROM CERTIFIED SOURCES
PROGRESS: ACHIEVED IN 2013 - MAINTAINING

THE ROAD AHEAD: MAPPING OUR PALM OIL SUPPLY CHAIN

Once we understand our palm oil supply chain, we can start working with suppliers to help improve standards and make sure our raw materials are sourced as ethically and sustainably as possible. In 2015, Mars’ palm oil came from mills in 12 different countries across South America, Asia and South Pacific.

We plan to drive:

  • Transparency: Gain an even deeper understanding of our supply chain, and make sure traceable palm oil is a routine when it comes to doing business with Mars.
  • Engagement: Work closely with suppliers, particularly those who need more support, and meet face to face with all of our direct suppliers annually.
  • Transformation: Strengthen our efforts to halt deforestation and respect human rights in our palm oil supply chains.
  • Verification: Work with The Forrest Trust to develop new models to verify how well standards are being applied on the ground.

MINT

There’s nothing like that all-natural, minty-fresh taste. That’s why we use real mint in 70 percent of relevant products. We’re dedicated to supporting high-quality mint farms and making sure our sourcing practices are sustainable.

We’re constantly developing new best practices to reduce the environmental impacts of mint farming by focusing on how we impact productivity, water usage, efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions. One great example is when our Associates at Wrigley collaborated with the Mint Industry Research Council to educate North American farmers on the environmental and economic benefits of using natural gas over diesel fuel. As of May 2014, these farmers had converted 18 percent of their total mint production from diesel to propane or natural gas, resulting in a reduction of over 8,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide.

In India, another key mint-growing region, our Associates at Wrigley are developing an exciting new sustainable agriculture plan. This plan assesses our economic, environmental and social impacts, and sets strategies to reduce any negative impacts — securing a vibrant Indian mint industry for the future.

TOMATOES

Tomatoes are the second most-used raw material after rice at Mars Food. Though we use less than one percent of the global tomato supply, we’re keenly aware of the impact of our sourcing and seek to play a responsible role in driving more sustainable practices.

Traceability is key! It’s important for us to know the origin of our tomatoes, which we source from the northern and southern hemisphere in Australia, Chile, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the United States. Our tomatoes are sun-grown on primarily family-run farms that have a long history of tomato growing. These farmers are part of farmer cooperatives – local platforms that unite farmers to deal with larger suppliers and provide them with professional advice on how to grow good quality and high-yield tomatoes.

Every drop counts! Ensuring a sustainable supply of irrigation water is hugely important — that’s why we try to source from areas that use highly efficient drip irrigation for tomato growing. This drip irrigation is also very efficient in applying nutrients, reducing crop diseases, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Improved tomato varieties and more sustainable farming practices can also increase yields and reduce water use. We collaborate with innovative suppliers who encourage farmers to adopt the most efficient and effective sustainable farming techniques, limiting the impact of our tomato sourcing on the planet.

PEANUTS

Peanuts are essential to us at Mars. From SNICKERS® to M&M’S®, many of our most popular products use this wonderful legume, so we’re committed to working with the rest of the industry to fully understand peanut production and make it a more sustainable process. This work includes:

  • Jointly funding the U.S. Peanut Resources and Efficiency Measures Report conducted by the independent research firm IHS Global Insight, which found major potential improvements in farming practices among U.S. peanut farmers
  • Leading a collaboration with industry, government and academic institutions to sequence, assemble and annotate the peanut genome
  • Chairing the American Peanut Council Sustainability Task Force
  • Supporting research to develop varieties and farming practices that reduce land, energy and water use while improving soil health
  • Developing improved logistics to reduce fuel use
  • Evaluating new roasting operations to reduce energy and water use

CORN

We want to do everything we can to create a more sustainable future for corn production. We purchase from countries such as the United States and Brazil, and even though we buy more corn by weight than any other raw material, the amount we buy is less than 0.1% of global purchases. Notwithstanding our industry position we embarked on a journey of mapping our global corn supply chains back to origin to evaluate our most material impacts and to define how we can be most influential and drive change.

Most of our confectionery products and pet food contain corn, corn-based products, such as syrup, starch and sugar alcohol, or meat from animals fed on corn. We estimate that 25 percent of the raw materials we buy come directly from corn and that another 26 percent are at least heavily dependent on it. A reliable supply of sustainable corn is key to our future.

DAIRY

We want to keep delivering the milk chocolate and caramel delights you love. That means taking extra care to contribute sustainably to the future of the dairy industry. Our suppliers include Deutsches Milchkontor GmbH, Fonterra and FrieslandCampina. In total, we buy less than 1 percent of global dairy supplies, and most of the milk that supplies our factories is locally produced – including in the Netherlands, France, Germany, UK, New Zealand and the US.

A strong, high-quality dairy industry is important for our business, the communities we rely on, and the world. By working in partnership with others to promote more sustainable agriculture and responsible sourcing, we can make it happen. This work includes:

  • Membership in the Dairy Working Group of the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative alongside the largest dairy users and producers in the world
  • Collaborating with other consumer-brand companies and suppliers through the AIM-PROGRESS Initiative, which promotes responsible sourcing through industry collaboration
  • Membership in The Sustainability Consortium; other members include the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, which has produced a life-cycle assessment of the U.S. dairy industry
  • Searching for additional regional and global groups focused on driving positive changes in the industry

VANILLA

We currently estimate that we source vanilla from approximately 1,000 small scale farmers.

SOY

Most of the soy we source is in the form of soymeal for use as protein, an essential nutrient in our pet foods. The soy we use accounts for a tiny proportion (less than 0.01 percent) of global production.
See our Soy Policy. »

WRIGLEY’S: IMPROVING EDUCATION THROUGH PARTNERSHIP

Every child, no matter where they are born, deserves an education. In 2013, Mars partnered with Pratham, the largest non-governmental education organization in India, to provide quality education to children in some of the largest Indian mint-producing regions. Together, we’re increasing the number of kids in schools and encouraging parents to take an active part in their children’s education.


Whether it’s sugar, corn, dairy or other raw materials, Mars is working to create a sustainable supplier base for every raw material we use en masse.