RIO DE JANEIRO, June 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Mars, Incorporated announced today that it has become a signatory of The Leadership Compact convened by The University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership – a statement of intent signed by global business leaders, committing to value and maintain the Earth's natural capital. The Leadership Compact, which will be signed by Mars, Incorporated ahead of the United Nation's Conference on Sustainable Development – Rio +20 – seeks to draw mutual agreement from business leaders, whilst simultaneously urging international governments to align economic development with the responsible and sustainable use of natural resources.
Rio+20 will be attended by Andrew Hobday, chief sustainability officer, Mars, Incorporated where historically world leaders join with government participants, NGOs and the private sector to define pathways to a safer, cleaner and greener world for all. In 2012, the conference will focus on two themes: a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication and secondly, the institutional framework for sustainable development.
"Society is facing grand challenges across climate change, food security and economic & social development that also affect Mars. We believe we have a responsibility to work with others in addressing these issues," commented Hobday, in response to Mars' decision to sign The Leadership Compact. "Our size and global reach mean that our commitment to sustainable development can have real and lasting impacts and indeed we have practical, mutually beneficial reasons for pursuing corporate sustainability."
Alongside Mars, Incorporated, signatories to the Leadership Compact to date include Nestle, Unilever, ASDA Walmart, AngloAmerican and Puma. By signing the statement, businesses are pledging to:
- Operate within the limits of natural systems
- Identify and address externalities (un-costed impacts on people and the environment from the production and consumption of products and services)
- Enable consumers to make better-informed choices
- Develop rigorous and realistic targets and plans
As outlined in its Principles in Action Summary, Mars is working on strategies and targets for social and environmental impacts in all areas of its value chain and operations. In the field of operations, where the business has direct control, Mars is committed to achieving zero fossil-fuel energy use, and zero greenhouse-gas emissions by 2040, and is developing similar commitments for waste and water use.
"Our commitment to sustainability is serious and long term," commented Hobday. "Our determination to positively contribute to our environment is critical to the way we do business at Mars – this includes our supply chain, brands and operations. Given the scale of the global challenges we face, it's hugely important that Mars, as a diverse and global business, joins the conversation at Rio+20 and seeks collaborative resolutions that are both meaningful and future-proof."
In tandem with signing The Leadership Compact, Hobday will also appear as a panelist at three Rio+20 conferences, including:
- "If Sustainability was a business, how would it be run?" on 16 June Sponsored by COSA/UN Global Impact. Hobday will be a member of the panel discussing how to build support and collaboration for the launch of a global, shared approach to the impact assessment and monitoring of sustainability standards through the adoption of common indicators and reporting standards using the Committee on Sustainability Assessment (COSA) framework.
- "Driving Business Value through Sustainability" on 17 June sponsored by World Resources Institute and the Forum for the Future. Hobday will be a member of the panel talking about the business case for sustainability in their respective companies and how innovative and proactive strategies for sustainability management create value and reduce risks in the value chain.
- "Natural Capital in the Big Picture" on 19 June sponsored by the Natural Capital Declaration. Hobday will be a member of the panel discussing the private sector, governments, civil society and scientific community could collaborate post Rio+20 to expedite implementation of the various commitments on natural capital accounting in a comparable, synergetic, transparent and effective way to deliver wellbeing and prosperity for a growing global population without restraining sustainable growth.
About Mars, Incorporated
In 1911, Frank C. Mars made the first Mars candies in his Tacoma, Washington kitchen and established Mars' first roots as a confectionery company. In the 1920's, Forrest E. Mars, Sr. joined his father in business and together they launched the MILKY WAY® bar. In 1932, Forrest, Sr. moved to the United Kingdom with a dream of building a business based on the philosophy of a "mutuality of benefits" for all stakeholders – this vision serves as the foundation of the Mars, Incorporated we are today. Based in McLean, Virginia, Mars has net sales of more than $30 billion, six business segments including Petcare, Chocolate, Wrigley, Food, Drinks, Symbioscience, and approximately 70,000 Associates worldwide that are putting its Principles into action to make a difference for people and the planet through its performance.
Mars brands include: Petcare – PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, WHISKAS®, KITEKAT®, BANFIELD® Pet Hospital and NUTRO®; Chocolate – M&M'S®, SNICKERS®, DOVE®, GALAXY®, MARS®, MILKY WAY® and TWIX®; Wrigley – DOUBLEMINT®, EXTRA®, ORBIT® and 5™ chewing gums, SKITTLES® and STARBURST® candies, and ALTOIDS® AND LIFESAVERS® mints. Food – UNCLE BEN'S®, DOLMIO®, EBLY®, MASTERFOODS®, SEEDS OF CHANGE® and ROYCO®; Drinks – ALTERRA COFFEE ROASTERS™, THE BRIGHT TEA COMPANY™, KLIX® and FLAVIA®; Symbioscience – COCOAVIA™, WISDOM PANEL™ and SERAMIS®.
For more information, please visit www.mars.com. Follow us: facebook.com/mars, twitter.com/marsglobal, youtube.com/mars.
To learn more about Rio+20, please visit http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20
SOURCE Mars, Incorporated