The campaign, which is part of Mars' Sustainable in a Generation Plan, includes a $1bn investment over the next few years to focus on issues including poverty in the supply chain, scarcity of resources and global warming.
Mars says it wants to “spark a dialogue among consumers about the importance of doing our part to address climate change”.
“Through our Sustainable in a Generation plan, our goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across our value chain by 27% by 2025 and 67% by 2050 to do our part to keep the planet from warming beyond two degrees,” said Berta de Pablos-Barbier, president, Mars Wrigley Confectionery USA.
The plan also includes cutting unsustainable water use by half by 2025 across Mars’ value chains, and eliminating water use that exceeds sustainable levels by 2050, she added.
“Within our supply chains, ending deforestation is our biggest opportunity. We are focused on our ambition to end deforestation in our beef, cocoa, palm, oil, soy, and pulp and paper supply chains,” Pablos-Barbier said.
She added many of the Mars’ brands already address climate change, but to bring the company’s point of view across to consumers, it decided to tap into “well-known” M&M’s as the campaign’s “spokescandies.”
“This campaign would not increase the price of our [M&M’s] products,” she said.
Mars currently partners with two wind farms in the world: one in Texas, and the other in the UK, according to Pablos-Barbier.
“Wind energy delivers these benefits at scale: it is affordable, inexhaustible, available in many regions worldwide and allows us to continue to grow and invest in our company,” she said. “Mars sources enough wind power to make all the M&M’s sold in the world.”
However, Pablos-Barbier pointed out M&M’s are not directly made using wind power.
“Because Mars purchases most of our electricity through the grid, Mars does not take energy directly from these wind farms to power our operations,” she explained.
“Mars provides the financial security necessary to enable the project developers to build the wind farms. In return, Mars receives renewable energy attributes from the wind energy that is generated, and these are transferable for all Mars’ electricity use in all our US and UK facilities.”
In 2016, 36% of Mars’ total electricity demand came from renewable sources, and 89% of that was from wind, said Pablos-Barbier.
Mars is expected to continue to increase renewable energy usage in the future.