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Mars ups sustainability commitments with two new agreements

By Oliver Nieburg , 15-Jun-2012
Last updated on 18-Jun-2012 at 10:45 GMT

Confectionery giant Mars has reached two agreements as it reaffirms its commitment to sustainable sourcing.

The company announced today that it had become a signatory to the University of Cambridge’s Leadership Compact, a business statement committing to the sustainable use of natural resources.

Mars Chocolate also recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with The Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH), committing to multiple initiatives to source sustainable cocoa and improve conditions for cocoa farmers.

Leadership Compact

The Leadership Compact encourages big businesses and international governments to align and protect the environment by using natural resources sustainably. It forms part of the University of Cambridge’s Programme for Sustainability Leadership.

Nestle is only other confectioner to make the pledge, committing to operating within the limits of natural systems and developing rigorous and realistic targets.

Mars has so far pledged to use zero-fossil fuels and greenhouse gases by 2040 and has said that it is developing similar strategies for waste and water-use.

The company’s chief sustainability officer Andrew Hobday will also participate in three panels at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio +20, which starts next week.

"Our commitment to sustainability is serious and long term. 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,” he said.

Cocoa sustainability

Mars’ MOU with The Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) will focus on increasing cocoa farmers’ income through productivity enhancement and expanding promotion of Cocoa Development and Cocoa Village Centers.

The MOU builds on Mars’ ongoing cooperation with IDH through the organisation’s Cocoa productivity and Quality Program, which seeks to boost the income of 300,000 smallholder cocoa farmers through modern production techniques.

IDH’s other partners include Kraft/Cadbury, Nestle, Petra Foods, Ferrero, Barry Callebaut and ADM.

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