Mars Invests $47M in Dairy Sustainability

Mars announced a new plan to reduce methane emissions and achieve net zero emissions by 2050, which involves a $47 million commitment over three years. This significant financial backing is part of the multinational’s broader climate cash commitment, totaling $1 billion over the same period.

Aligned to reduce GHG emissions by 50% by 2030, Mars is working to decrease the carbon footprint of its dairy sourcing. A net zero dairy pilot project and a partnership with FrieslandCampina have also been announced.

The company’s new climate-first approach to dairy sourcing, Moo’ving Dairy Forward, will work to reduce dairy’s carbon footprint in line with its 2030 ambition to cut emissions by 50%, as measured against a 2015 baseline.

Over 200,000 cows contribute to making Mars’ tasty chocolate treats. Still, their byproducts, including gases and manure, significantly impact the environment. Dairy is the second largest contributor to the carbon footprint of Mars’ Snacking business.

The Moo’ving Dairy Forward Plan signals another milestone in the CPG giant’s recently published open-source “net zero” roadmap, said the company in a press release. Mars will work with a cohort of industry leaders to implement meaningful on-farm interventions focused on critical areas such as enteric methane reduction, efficient manure management, and sustainable feed production.

Mars-FrieslandCampina Sustainable Dairy Development Program

As part of the Moo’ving Dairy Forward Sustainable Dairy Plan, Mars is collaborating with dairy cooperative FrieslandCampina to establish the Mars-FrieslandCampina Sustainable Dairy Development Program. This groundbreaking initiative will dedicate a group of farms to Mars’ dairy supply. The program aims to deliver more sustainable dairy by providing a platform for refining and scaling up new practices and innovative technologies in a focused and accelerated environment. The ultimate goal is to achieve broader adoption of these practices across the entire co-op.

Related Article: Mars to Open Global Research and Development Hub in Chicago

“Doing our part to keep our planet healthy is an absolute non-negotiable for us at Mars,” said Amanda Davies, chief R&D, procurement and sustainability officer, Mars Snacking. “But our vision for more sustainable dairy will only become a reality with the support and actions of farmers and our suppliers. Which is why, as part of our Moo’ving Dairy Forward Sustainable Dairy Plan, we’re putting millions of dollars directly back into the pockets of farmers through our contracts to help them make climate smart changes to the way they farm. Together, I know that we can forge a path that helps address climate change head on and contributes to reshaping our wider industry for a more sustainable future.” 

Net Zero Dairy Farms

Building on an ethos of investing in long-term innovation, Mars has launched three pilot “net zero” dairy farms with the DMK Group in Germany. The sites will study and aim to implement new science and technology with an ambition to create a scalable and economically viable pathway to net zero dairy. The five-year project is a first-of-its-kind for the prominent food and pet care and services conglomerate.

A founding member of the industry-wide Sustainable Dairy Partnership, Mars is also turning to the seven seas in the pursuit of burp busting technology. The company is partnering with Fonterra and Sea Forest to explore sourcing from their SEAFEED™ seaweed food supplement trial. The trial seeks to demonstrate how SEAFEED™ helps reduce the quantity of methane cows generate in digesting their food.