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Leon Kaye headshot

Recap: #GenerationForChange Twitter Chat with Mars

By Leon Kaye

Last week, Mars, Inc., The Climate Group, EDF+Business, The Nature Conservancy and Oxfam came together at #GenerationForChange on Twitter during COP24 to discuss how the private sector can lead on climate action, align with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and ensure a more sustainable supply chain worldwide.

During #GenerationForChange, we discussed the following topics and much more:

  • Why businesses like Mars should support COP24 and the 2015 Paris Agreement

  • The role companies like Mars have in supporting national climate policy

  • Why partnerships matter in achieving long-term sustainability goals

  • Barriers to making supply chains climate-smart – and ways to overcome them

  • How companies can align their work on the SDGs with their overall climate action goals

The featured participants included:

  • Ashley Allen, Climate and Land Senior Manager at Mars (@AshAllen350), who has been on the ground in Poland for COP24

  • Elizabeth Sturcken, Managing Director at EDF+Business, Environmental Defense Fund (@esturcken)

  • Aditi Sen (@urbanwonk_mom), Policy Advisor on Climate Change, and Jesse Young (@jesseyoung84), who works with the organization’s Climate Team at Oxfam.

  • Katrine Tilgaard Petersen, Communications Executive, and Sophie Vipond, Communications Advisor, at The Climate Group (@ClimateGroup)

  • David Cleary, Director of Global Agriculture at The Nature Conservancy (TNC) (@NatureAg)

One thing that struck me during the chat is how Mars puts its money where its mouth is. TriplePundit has long covered Mars’ investments in renewables, from the United Kingdom to Australia; the company’s U.S. operations have been running on wind power since 2015. But as Allen reminded us:


Allen also didn’t mince words (nor skimp on visuals!), when she made it clear where Mars stood on climate action:


Sturcken of EDF was quick to back up Allen’s words:


Sturcken, who was among many Californians who lived through the impact of California’s wildfires, reiterated the need for companies to lean on policy makers to make the changes necessary to ensure the goals of the Paris Agreement are met:


The Climate Group reminded us that policies that boost climate action efforts should not be seen merely regulations that come with a cost, but in fact, can generate economic opportunities:


As Oxfam’s Sen pointed out, if more action is not taken to address climate change, the world’s poorest citizens – who are often the ones that grow our food – will be affected the most:


On that point, Allen pointed to a couple examples of how food companies like Mars can improve their supply chain performance while boosting incomes for farmers worldwide:


During the one-hour Twitter Chat, all the participants made one thing clear: achieving climate action is hard and requires much cooperation and innovative partnerships. But TNC’s Cleary also offered us a dose of optimism, pointing to the potential of a major deforestation commitment that could occur in Brazil during 2019 – no small feat considering Brazil’s new right-wing president intends to rollback many of the country’s environmental reforms:


Finally, while 3p has long talked about how companies can work with nonprofits to take on tough challenging environmental issues, from deforestation to securing clean and safe water for more citizens, Allen brought up an example of how companies can work together as well:


You can follow Mars’ ongoing discussion on its climate action work by both following the company or tracking #GenerationForChange on Twitter.

Leon Kaye headshot

Leon Kaye has written for 3p since 2010 and become executive editor in 2018. His previous work includes writing for the Guardian as well as other online and print publications. In addition, he's worked in sales executive roles within technology and financial research companies, as well as for a public relations firm, for which he consulted with one of the globe’s leading sustainability initiatives. Currently living in Central California, he’s traveled to 70-plus countries and has lived and worked in South Korea, the United Arab Emirates and Uruguay.

Leon’s an alum of Fresno State, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the University of Southern California's Marshall Business School. He enjoys traveling abroad as well as exploring California’s Central Coast and the Sierra Nevadas.

Read more stories by Leon Kaye