Kimberly-Clark and Mars make fresh moves to champion renewables

Personal care firm Kimberly-Clark has secured its first deals to source renewable energy, in a move that will help the company surpass a carbon goal for years early, while food company Mars has used an iconic brand to promote renewables to consumers.

Kimberly-Clark has moved to champion renewables, after announcing its first major commitment to purchase 245MW of electricity from two new wind power projects in Texas and Oklahoma.

Kimberly-Clark will source one-third of its electricity needs for North American manufacturing operations form the wind farms, and the deal will enable the company to surpass an emissions reduction goal four years ahead of schedule.

The company entered a long-term contract with the Rock Falls Wind farm in Northern Oklahoma and the Santa Rita project in West Texas. The suppled energy will enable Kimberly-Clark to reduce emissions by 550,000 tons annually, taking the company beyond a 20% reduction target for 2022.

“These agreements mark Kimberly-Clark’s first use of utility-scale renewable energy and are a step-change in our energy and climate strategy to reduce climate change impacts, improve operating efficiency and benefit cost savings,” Kimberly-Clark’s global head of sustainability Lisa Morden said.

“Adding wind-generated electricity to the energy mix will enable the company to achieve more than a 25 per cent reduction in GHG emissions in 2018, which is four years ahead of the original 2022 target to reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent from 2005 levels.”

Fans of Wind

Fresh off a $1bn backing towards a new sustainability initiative, Mars has incorporated one of its most iconic brands to deliver a consumer-facing campaign the champions the use of renewable energy and raises awareness of climate change.

M&M’s has launched its Fans of Wind energy campaign, using the Red and Yellow M&M characters to act as advocates for renewable wind energy. The campaign seeks to increase awareness of the “urgency” of climate change and builds on Mars’ own use of renewable energy.

“We have the power to act now to prevent further climate change,” Mars Wrigley Confectionary’s president Berta de Pablos-Barbier said. “None of us will thrive without a healthy planet.

“Through the new Sustainable in a Generation Plan and our M&M’S campaign we are committed to doing our part. We are using our unique position as one of the world’s largest privately held, family-owned businesses, plus the power of our iconic brands like M&M’S, to do good for our consumers and for the planet.”

Earlier this month, Mars revealed that it would invest approximately $1bn into its Sustainable in a Generation plan, a new corporate strategy that sets a 67% reduction in emissions across Mars’ value chain by 2050.

The company already purchases 100% renewable electricity to power all 12 of its UK factories and its US facilities. From next year, a total of 11 markets will use renewable energy to cover 100% of operations.

The Fans of Wind Energy campaign builds on Mars’ partnership with a 200MW Mesquite Wind Farm in Texas, the biggest long-term commitment to using renewables from any US food manufacturing business. The 25,000-acre wind farm enables Mars to purchase enough energy to power all of its US sites.

edie recently spoke to Mars’ global director of sustainability Kevin Rabinovitch, to discuss how his team secured a $1bn backing from the initiative, and how it led to the companies chief executive calling on other businesses to do the same.

Matt Mace

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