A newly signed 20 year deal in Australia is set to make the company Mars a carbon neutral company by the year 2020. The company say that its Australian subsidiary have just signed a deal with the energy company Total Eren to build a solar plant in Victoria by the middle of next year, and will result in them being able to produce 100% of its electricity from renewable energy sources.
In addition, Mars, which is one of the biggest confectionery producers in the world, has announced its plans to build a second renewable energy project. Following the building of the first plant, a second will be built in a project with Total Eren, and will be in New South wales. However, instead of taking energy directly from the solar projects, they say they will be offsetting carbon emitted by electricity which is used at Mars’ factories and sales offices.
The move has been welcomed by environmental groups. Currently, Australia is one of the worst in the world when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions per capita. Electricity generation is one of the biggest contributors, both in Australia and around the world; the food industry in particular is a major polluter, and is estimated to be responsible for around a third of greenhouse gas emissions globally.
Barry O’Sullivan of Mars Australia said the company is planning to make a “long-term commitment to a sustainable, greener planet that will benefit our customers, our consumers and the local and global community”. He added that the rising cost of electricity has pushed forward the plans, and follows the switch to renewable energy that has been achieved in several other countries including the US and the UK.
He said: “We acted quickly because the price volatility of energy in Australia made renewables the best option for our business, in addition to getting us closer to our commitment to eliminate greenhouse gases from our operations by 2040. We have an extensive local supplier network and we’ll be talking to them about how they can help further reduce emissions in our supply chain.”