Mars shifts to 100% renewable electricity for UK operations

Mars Incorporated has committed to purchasing 100% renewable electricity to power all 12 of its UK factories as part of the company's vision to become carbon-neutral across its global operations by 2040.

Renewable electricity generated by the Moy Wind Farm in the Scottish Highlands will provide energy equivalent to 3.6% of Mars’ total factory and office carbon footprint – enough energy to power the equivalent of 34,000 average UK households.

Mars chief sustainability and health & wellbeing officer Barry Parkin said the company was proud of its carbon footprint reductions in the UK and around the world.

“Moy will contribute significantly to our effort to eliminate fossil fuel energy use and greenhouse gas emissions from our global operations by 2040 as part of our ‘Sustainable in a Generation’ programme,” Parkin said. 

“The Moy Wind Farm is part of our innovative and long-term approach to achieving our goal to be a successful and sustainable business for generations to come. We’re not there yet, but we recognize all businesses have a responsibility to tackle climate change and we hope our partnership with Eneco at Moy will encourage other companies to take steps to reduce their own carbon footprint through renewable energy. Working together, government and industry can move the needle on climate change.”

‘Global responsibility’

The 20-turbine Moy Wind Farm, located just south of Inverness, possesses an export capacity of 60MW and an annual consumption of more than 125,000 megawatt-hours. The facility is owned and operated by Eneco UK who will provide Mars’ electricity for the next 10 years.

Commenting on the announcement, WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said: “It’s great to see a company like Mars demonstrating global responsibility by supporting the use of wind power in the manufacture of its products here in the UK.

“With its huge renewable energy resources, Scotland is an ideal location to source the power needed to create products sustainably. This is a great example of how business can help the UK meet its climate change targets.”

‘Sustainable in a Generation’

The shift to 100% renewable electricity is the latest step on Mars’ ‘Sustainable in a Generation’ programme, which targets a transition towards a company-wide elimination of fossil fuel energy use and greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. Last year, Mars undertook a number of operational efficiency measures which enabled the food giant to successfully achieve its global 2015 goal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from operations by 25% from a 2007 baseline.

Mars’ 2014 sustainability report highlighted by a 54% year-on-year increase in the amount of renewable energy used by the company. The surge was driven by the construction of Mesquite Creek Wind farm in Texas, a 118-turbine project that provides the equivalent of 12% of Mars’ global energy.

Last October, Mars’ global sustainability director Kevin Rabinovitch told edie the company was considering adopting an internal price on carbon to help it prepare for future low-carbon policies.

George Ogleby

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