Mars Steps Up Marine Sustainability Targets
Mars has announced that it has adopted the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SGD) 14, Life Below Water, as part of the Business Avengers initiative.
Business Avengers brings together some of the largest and most influential global corporations — including Google, Salesforce and Diageo — to drive awareness about these goals.
By supporting this initiative, Mars has pledged to use its reach and influence to increase awareness, drive action towards SDG 14, and encourage its peers to do the same.
Members of Business Avengers represent almost a million employees and more than $500 billion in revenue.
'Importance Of Collaboration'
Barry Parkin, chief procurement and sustainability officer at Mars, Incorporated, commented, “The Business Avengers initiative highlights the importance of collaboration and cross-industry partnerships in catalysing positive change and accelerating progress, all through the lens of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
“Companies have a responsibility to do all that they can to take pressure off vulnerable ecosystems and restore them where they can. As a family-owned, purpose-driven company we’re focused on doing business in a way that builds a better, more sustainable world for people and pets.”
Climate change, overexploitation, destructive fishing practices and marine pollution have impacted ocean health significantly, Mars added.
Scientists estimate that if no action is taken, 90% of the world’s tropical reefs will disappear by 2043.
As part of Mars Sustainable in a Generation Plan, the company is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions across its entire value chain by 27% by 2025 and 67% by 2050 from 2015 levels.
It aims to achieve net-zero emissions from direct operations by 2040 and is working toward a circular economy in which no packaging goes to waste.
Chief marine scientist at Mars, Incorporated, Professor David Smith, added, “As we prepare for a future of more than 10 billion people and more pets, a sustainable business practice which is led by science and cares about the planet and our oceans is essential. Sustainably sourcing fish and restoring coral are just two ways that Mars Petcare can lend its support towards SDG No. 14.
Coral Reef Restoration
Mars is also targeting 100% sustainably sourced fish, aligned to its guidelines. It has invested in a coral reef restoration programme through its pet care brand SHEBA in association with The Nature Conservancy.
The project aims to restore coral reefs measuring more than 185,000 square meters by 2029.
As part of the project, restoration is underway off the island of Bontosua in the Spermonde Archipelago, Indonesia.
In just two years, coral cover has increased from 5% to 55%, fish abundance has risen, and the recovered reefs have seen the return of species such as sharks and turtles, Mars noted.