Rio+20 will be attended by Andrew Hobday, chief sustainability officer at Mars, and is where historically world leaders join with government participants, NGOs and the private sector to define pathways to a safer, cleaner and greener world for all. In 2012, the conference will focus on two themes: a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication and secondly, the institutional framework for sustainable development.
"Society is facing grand challenges across climate change, food security and economic & social development that also affect Mars. We believe we have a responsibility to work with others in addressing these issues," commented Hobday, in response to Mars' decision to sign The Leadership Compact. "Our size and global reach mean that our commitment to sustainable development can have real and lasting impacts and indeed we have practical, mutually beneficial reasons for pursuing corporate sustainability."
Alongside Mars, signatories to the Leadership Compact to date include Nestle, Unilever, ASDA Walmart, AngloAmerican and Puma. By signing the statement, businesses are pledging to:
- Operate within the limits of natural systems
- Identify and address externalities (un-cost impacts on people and the environment from the production and consumption of products and services)
- Enable consumers to make better-informed choices
- Develop rigorous and realistic targets and plans
As outlined in its Principles in Action Summary, Mars is working on strategies and targets for social and environmental impacts in all areas of its value chain and operations. In the field of operations, where the business has direct control, Mars has committed to achieving zero fossil-fuel energy use, and zero greenhouse-gas emissions by 2040, and is developing similar commitments for waste and water use
"Our commitment to sustainability is serious and long term," commented Hobday. "Our determination to positively contribute to our environment is critical to the way we do business at Mars - this includes our supply chain, brands and operations. Given the scale of the global challenges we face, it's hugely important that Mars, as a diverse and global business, joins the conversation at Rio+20 and seeks collaborative resolutions that are both meaningful and future-proof."
From the June 15, 2012, Prepared Foods Daily News