Ed note: Mars CSO Barry Parkin recently participated in a Twitter chat hosted by 3p and CSRWire to talk about its approach to sustainability. If you missed it, you can read the summary here.
Mars, Incorporated is putting its CSR principles where its mouth is – through an aggressive five-pronged strategy to accomplish an ambitious agenda that’s based on quality, responsibility, mutuality, efficiency and freedom.
It’s probably a safe bet that unwrapping a Milky Way bar does not lead immediately to thoughts of a company’s commitment to freedom, for example, but that’s an essential element of the private, family-owned business’s mindset.
In its third CSR report, 2012 Principles in Action, Mars underscores its dedication to putting the Five Principles into action to make a difference to people and the planet through performance. All of which adds up to an interesting take on the 3Ps. “To lead by example, we aim to make a difference through our business performance,” the company says, “and to create a mutuality of benefits” for all stakeholders.
Mars adds that it is making progress on its goal to eliminate all greenhouse emissions by 2040 as part of its “Sustainable in a Generation” program.
“As a company, our objective is to create lasting, mutual benefits for all those involved in our business success. We strive to create positive social impacts, minimizing our environmental impacts and creating economic value,” says Paul S. Michaels, Mars' president. “In some arenas, we are making good progress; in others we have more work to do.”
In the report, Michaels stressed three areas:
In addition, Michaels says, “We have also broadened our approach to take responsibility for the environmental impacts caused by, and affecting, our agricultural supply chains.”
Mars uses the “Planetary Boundaries” model as a key scientific input. This analysis is based on a review of existing research on the impacts of land use, water use and GHG emissions that “identifies nine environmental impacts and the point at which each one will cause catastrophic harm to human well-being.”
Bringing its global supply chain under the sustainability and five principles umbrella is a bold and perhaps ground-breaking move that only makes the job Mars has created for itself that much harder.
And placing the emphasis on people, planet and performance, rather than you know, that other P is also a promise, and a template, for change on a global scale.
[Image: Mars media image from the Mars site]