Photo by Syed F Hashemi on Unsplash

M&Ms just got a little bit sweeter.

Mars Australia — the company behind the well known sweets and food brands — announced its transition to offset its six factories and two Australian offices with renewable electricity.

The move comes as part of Mars’s Sustainable in a Generation goals, kicked off in 2017 with a US$1 billion commitment. The move to renewable energy will play a large part in hitting Mars’ targets to reduce its carbon footprint 27 per cent by 2025 and 67 per cent by 2050.

“Climate change is one of the most urgent issues of our time, and we recognise Mars has a responsibility — and opportunity — to improve our impact on the planet,” Mars Global vice president of sustainability Kevin Rabinovitch said.

“I am proud to have worked with our amazing associates in Australia to make this switch and excited to see where the market can go next.”

RE100 Australia co-ordinator, Jon Dee said, “Mars was one of the first RE100 pioneers to sign a power purchase agreement here in Australia.

“By sourcing 100 per cent of their electricity from renewable sources, Mars isn’t just reducing its impact on the environment, it’s also setting a great role model for other companies.

“Last year Mars consumed over 85GWh of electricity in Australia. In light of Australia’s fluctuating energy costs, it’s a sound business decision for Mars to invest in that amount of solar power. Other companies in Australia need to follow that lead.”

Under leadership from The Climate Group and CDP, the RE100 initiative encourages major corporations to embrace 100 per cent renewable power.

Mars is obtaining its electricity offset through Kiamal Solar Farm, Victoria’s largest solar farm, as a part of a power purchase agreement with Independent Power Producer (IPP) Total Eren. Other companies sourcing through Kiamal include Alinta Energy, FlowPower, Zero Emissions Water and Origin Energy.

The 50 MW acquired from Kiamal is enough power to generate185 million 180g bags of M&Ms Peanut, 30 million 3kg bags of Pedigree, 4 billion bottles of MasterFoods tomato sauce or 2.5 billion packets of EXTRA.

Greenpeace REenergise campaign director, Lindsey Soutar, praised Mars for becoming one of the first Australian companies on track to hit its 100 per cent renewable goal.

“Mars is shifting the dial on corporate renewable energy commitments and showing that stepping up to tackle emissions isn’t just good for the climate,” she said. “It’s a sweet deal for business too.”

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