Following the announcement of our enhanced Sustainable in a Generation Plan, Mars participated in UN Week to discuss how businesses like Mars can contribute to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Not only is Mars addressing issues on climate change, we have also taken the initiative to help those in need following the recent natural disasters in California, Texas, the Southeastern U.S., and Puerto Rico.
Mars Kicks Off UN Week
Mars has participated in UN Week for the last several years, offering a chance to discuss some of the biggest issues facing society and partner with governments, non-profit organizations, and businesses to develop solutions. To kick off our participation during UN Week in September, Mars offered bright tins of Sustainable Development Goals-branded M&M’S® candies and whimsical Fans of Wind art installations that focused on this year’s theme: “Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and a Decent Life for All on a Sustainable Planet.”
This year’s theme comes at a time where the effects of climate change are clear to all and the importance of a sustainable planet is urgent and obvious. During the opening ceremonies, Mars Chairman Stephen Badger joined global leaders as well as government and business representatives to explore the themes of innovation, jobs, and prosperity. He emphasized that “climate change will fundamentally alter food security, and businesses should take this threat seriously.” Later that day, Mars Board Member Frank Mars signed a memorandum of understanding with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to increase incomes and economic opportunities for thousands of smallholder farmers in developing countries.
Jean-Christophe Flatin, President of Mars Global Chocolate, spoke at a plenary session during the World Economic Forum Impact Summit to discuss the economics of Mutuality. Mars Food, Drinks and Multisales Global President Fiona Dawson spoke on a panel championing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to agriculture, food waste, and achieving zero hunger. During the panel, Dawson indicated that “food safety is the cornerstone of food security. The more we can encourage sustainable practices, the less waste and more earnings for farmers.” Fiona Dawson also participated in a panel at the International Conference on Sustainable Development & World Leaders Forum, which highlighted how women are paving the way to meet the Sustainable Development Goals.
To conclude UN Week, Mars hosted 50 leaders from government, civil society, and the private sector at the Thriving People Workshop which explored how Mars and others can drive innovative approaches to global challenges. The event was attended by Mars Board Member Frank Mars; Andy Pharoah, VP of Corporate Affairs & Strategic Initiatives; and Barry Parkin, Chief Sustainability and Health & Wellbeing Officer.
Mars’ Efforts on Disaster Relief
This year saw some of the worst disasters in North America – Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria as well as wildfires in California and a 7.1 magnitude earthquake in Mexico. Our hearts go out to the communities affected by these natural disasters.
We took the initiative to partner with the American Red Cross, GreaterGood.org, and Rescue Bank - a signature program of GreaterGood.org, American Humane Association, and sponsored search and rescue teams to help those in California, Texas, the Southeastern U.S., Puerto Rico, and Mexico. Mars is also in communication with nonprofit partners such as shelters, universities, and government agencies to assess different basic needs including both human and pet food. Below are some of Mars’ efforts to help those in the affected areas.
- Mars committed to match up to $50,000 of all Associate donations to the American Red Cross and GreaterGood.org to help the victims of the recent natural disasters.
- The Mars Global Security team partnered with Mars operations in neighboring areas, including Miami and the Dominican Republic, to provide supplies such as water, batteries, and non-perishable goods to Associates in Puerto Rico.
- Mars mobilized a full team of Associates to volunteer and provide both product and charitable donations to support victims of the Mexico earthquake.
- Mars Mexico created a match fund on any cash donation sent to Cruz Roja Mexicana and created an account to collect donations from Mars Associates.
- Royal Canin, Mars Pet Nutrition, and Mars Horsecare donated more than 125,000 lbs., 38,000 lbs., and 44,000 lbs. of pet food and equine feed respectively to help victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Maria, and the Mexico Earthquake. Mars is also coordinating with local partners in California to donate pet food to pets affected by the October Wildfires.
- The Pedigree Foundation also set up a $50,000 disaster relief grant program to support shelters affected by Hurricane Harvey, and is responding to requests from nonprofits to provide grants to support on-the-ground efforts by local non-profits in response to the Mexico Earthquake and California Wildfires.
- Royal Canin-sponsored search and rescue dogs to help Hurricane Maria victims in Puerto Rico.
Mars Veterinary Health Group
- Pet Partners donated $10,000 to the American Red Cross to help victims of Hurricane Harvey.
- BluePearl created a Hurricane Relief Fund and raised more than $15,000 to help 12 Associates in Texas and Florida who lost homes or property during the storms.
- BANFIELD® Pet Hospital provided nearly $25,000 in medicine donations for displaced pets and $64,500 to impacted Banfield Associates through the Banfield Better Together Fund for those affected by Hurricane Harvey. Banfield Associates also volunteered nearly 800 hours to help more than 2,500 impacted pets in Texas.
- Banfield reopened three of their four hospitals in Puerto Rico to provide free care to all pets. To date, Banfield has already treated more than 6,000 pets on the island – and counting – at no cost to pet owners. Following the earthquake, Banfield’s teaching hospital in Mexico City also provided free care to every pet for three weeks.
- Banfield Foundation provided a $175,000 grant to Texas A&M University’s Veterinary Emergency Team to fund a fully equipped veterinary medical unit to help pets during future disasters.
- Banfield Foundation also committed more than $360,000 in Disaster Relief Grants to support impacted shelters in the areas affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, as well as the California wildfires.
Mars Wrigley Confectionery
- Mars Wrigley Confectionery donated more than 27 pallets of its products to support victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Maria, as well as over 35,000 products to help victims of the Mexico Earthquake.
- During Hurricane Irma, Mars Wrigley Confectionery safely relocated cocoa trees from Florida to Atlanta, Georgia.
- The Wrigley Foundation made two $25,000 donations to the American Red Cross to support relief efforts in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria and in Mexico City following the earthquake.
- Mars Food donated more than 7 pallets of UNCLE BEN’S® rice to feed more than 83,000 victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Maria.