Mars Petcare Australia cutting emissions by more than a whisker




Barry O’Sullivan, Mars Petcare Australia General Manager

As part of a drive by global manufacturer Mars to reduce its emissions, TAKE2 member Mars Petcare Australia is set to benefit from recently signed power-purchase agreements with renewable energy company Total Eren.

Under the 20-year deal, an amount of renewable energy equivalent to 100 per cent of the electricity Mars uses across its Australian operations will be generated and supplied to the grid by 2020. That’s enough to make 2.5 billion packets of gum.

Mars Petcare Australia General Manager Barry O’Sullivan believes the company has an obligation to deal with the environmental and social impacts of its business. “Tracking and reducing greenhouse gas emissions to lessen our climate change impact are key aspects of that responsibility, and provide important opportunities to help drive momentum for global climate action.”

By partnering with Total Eren, Mars has helped secure the future of the Kiamal Solar Farm near Ouyen, which is due to open in mid-2019. In return, it gets certainty in the face of rising electricity prices. "We acted quickly because the price volatility of energy in Australia made renewables the best option for our business,” Barry explains.

With 550 people employed at its pet food factory and head office in Wodonga, Mars Petcare Australia is a mainstay of the local economy. It’s one of the reasons the company joined TAKE2. “We’re proud to have a strong local supplier base around regional Victoria, and we hope to inspire and encourage others to work towards a low-carbon future,” says Barry. “Our goal is to reduce our emissions by 67 per cent across our entire value chain by 2050, so we want to share the lessons we’ve learnt with our supply chain partners about reducing their own emissions.”

The power-purchase agreements announcement is not the only bit of good environmental news Mars has made in recent times. Last year, a plan for becoming sustainable in a generation was launched, while Barry says the company has maintained a ‘zero waste to landfill’ status at all its Australian sites since 2015. A new partnership with RedCycle is making it easier for customers to recycle soft plastic packaging like foil pouches.

“Being a family owned business, we have the freedom to think in generations, not quarters. We plan to grow in ways that are good for people, good for the planet and good for our business.”