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World's Largest Chocolate Maker Pledges $1 Billion to Fight Climate Change

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Mars Inc., the candy giant and maker of M&Ms, Skittles and Twix, announced it is spending $1 billion on its Sustainable in a Generation initiative to fight climate change.

According to Fortune, the $35 billion chocolate company already has wind farms in Texas and Scotland that power its U.S. and UK operations. Under the new initiative, Mars is pledging to add wind and solar farms to another nine countries by 2018 and is aiming to cut greenhouse gas emissions across the supply chain by 27 percent by 2025 and 67 percent by 2050.


"This is a critical moment," said Mars CEO and president, Grant F. Reid. "Never before has the responsibility been greater for businesses to step up and help create a healthy planet and a healthy society. Business needs to lead to help deliver on the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement."

Mars was among the hundreds of global businesses that urged President Trump not to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement in June.

Barry Parkin, Mars' chief sustainability officer, told Business Insider that the $1 billion green investment was not motivated by POTUS' controversial decision to exit the global accord.

"We're not interested in the politics here—this is about policy," Parkin explained. "We believe in the scientific view of climate science and the need for collective action."

However, he noted, "We're clearly disappointed that the U.S. administration has chosen to withdraw from the Paris agreement."

Mars' website shows that the Sustainable in a Generation plan will focus on three areas with goals in each category:

1. "Healthy Planet"

  • Reduce total greenhouse gas emissions across the supply chain by 27 percent by 2025 and 67 percent by 2050.
  • Eliminate water use in excess of sustainable levels in the value chain.
  • Helping to stop, prevent and reverse practices that degrade land and put pressure on natural ecosystems, with a goal of holding flat the total land area associated with their value chain.

2. "Thriving People"

  • A goal for everyone working within Mars' extended supply chains to earn a sufficient income to maintain a decent standard of living.
  • Improve working lives, from factory workers in Chicago to farmers in Cote D'Ivoire. The goal is to treat workers with fairness, dignity and respect.
  • Women earn only 10 percent of the world's income and own less than one percent of the world's property. Mars aims to unlock opportunities for women in the company's workplaces, marketplaces and supply chains.
3. "Nourishing Wellbeing"
  • Mitigate food safety and security risks around the world.
  • Invest in science and product design to improve the nutrition of products while making them the right size for the eating occasion.
  • Market products in ways that will help billions of people lead healthier, happier lives.
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