Pet Industry News sat down with Marika McCauley Sine, Global VPSustainability at Mars Petcare, to discuss the company’s sustainability modeland targets.

Across the world, we are witnessing the effects of climate change andbusinesses such as Mars Petcare are starting to take notice by implementingprocedures that lessen the impact their model has on the environment.

Here is what McCauley Sine had to say about the company’s efforts towardscreating and maintaining a sustainable business model.

PIN: Could you outline the key commitments that Mars Petcare has made aspart of its sustainability roadmap?

McCauley Sine: To create a better world for pets, planet, and people,we’re on a mission to bring even more innovative, sustainable choices andservices to pet owners around the world.

Our key commitments include:

Net Zero emissions : As part of Mars, Incorporated’s Sustainable in aGeneration Plan, we aim to reduce the carbon footprint of our value chain by27 per cent by 2025 and to reach net zero emissions by 2050 including allscope 3 emissions (as defined by SBTI), from a 2015 baseline. We’reaccelerating our work to source 100 per cent renewable electricity for ourfactories and veterinary hospitals, remove deforestation risk from our beefand soy supply chains, and activate regenerative agriculture programs.

Sustainable Sourcing : As we source our ingredients, we are working towardmore sustainable sources in collaboration with our suppliers, particularly forour Petcare priority raw materials of beef, soy, and fish where we can havethe biggest impact.

Packaging: We’re also taking action to contribute to Mars, Incorporated’s2025 goal of 100 per cent of our plastic packaging being reusable, recyclable,or compostable.

Pet Wellbeing: We’re on a mission to increase access to food, care andhomes for pets in need, and as a leading provider of pet care, we have anobligation and an opportunity to use our voice to influence change at scale.

PIN: How will Mars Petcare go about living up to these commitments?

McCauley Sine: We are transforming the way we work, from how we source rawmaterials like fish, beef and soy to our own operations – all with the aim ofhelping people and the planet thrive. At the same time, we recognize thataddressing these issues is a generational challenge, which is why we arebuilding lasting partnerships with NGOs, governments, and industry to helptransform systems at scale.

Here are some of the ways in which we are progressing:

Since 2017, we have played a leading role in the Cool Soil Initiative, whichby 2023 aims to reach 200 Australian wheat farmers across 700,000 hectares ofland in north-east Victoria and southern NSW. Through this industry-widecoalition, partnering with experts at Charles Sturt University, we’re helpingto increase soil health and improve farm resilience.

Overall, Mars, Incorporated is already sourcing 100 per cent renewableelectricity for the entirety of its direct operations in 11 countries,accounting for more than 54 per cent of its global electricity needs, withplans to shift to renewable in another 8 countries by 2025. This year all2,000+ Mars Veterinary Health hospitals in the United States will be fuelledby 100 per cent renewable electricity.

Royal Canin, Mars’ biggest brand, last year announced plans to pursue carbonneutrality for its entire portfolio by 2025.

Through our decade-long partnership with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) we’repursuing our goal to acquire 100 per cent of our fish from sustainable sourcesaligned to our guidelines – today, we are at 81 per cent globally.

Through our brand Dine we’ve started the world’s largest coral restorationprogram, aiming to restore coral reefs measuring more than 185,000 squaremeters by 2029.

Our packaging efforts are focused on reducing, reusing and recycling. Forexample, in working to cut down on the amount of plastic we use we reduced ourusage by 23 tons of plastic and 60 tons of paper in our Pedigree Schmackossachets and cases in 2021 in Europe, which represents a 12 per cent reductionin plastic usage and a 36 per cent reduction in paper in Europe for thisbrand.

PIN: How are you measuring your progress?

McCauley Sine : Our Sustainable in a Generation Progress Report is auseful indicator of how far we’ve come in our mission to build a better worldfor pets, people and the planet.

As we measure our sustainability progress, we always strive to take a science-based approach. For example, as our Royal Canin brand pursues its goal ofcarbon neutrality by 2025, a science-based methodology is being used tocalculate each product’s carbon footprint adhering to the PAS 2060 standardfor carbon neutrality, and also taking a pro-active and mutual approach withvalue chain partners to minimize greenhouse gas emissions.

PIN: What are the biggest challenges to creating a more sustainable foodsupply chain?

McCauley Sine : We need to take bold action across supply chains to enddeforestation, reduce emissions and protect people – this work is fundamentalto delivering more sustainable food for people and for pets. That’s why we’retaking action now to transition to 100 per cent renewable energy, redesigningour supply chains to address deforestation risk in our beef and soy supplychains, scale up initiatives in sustainable and regenerative agriculture, andto partner with our suppliers to drive change through the full value chain.

PIN : Has implementing new sustainability measures affected revenue?

McCauley Sine : Mars has been proudly family owned for over 100 years.It’s this independence that gives us the gift of freedom to think ingenerations, not quarters, so we can invest in the long-term future of ourbusiness, our people, and the planet — all guided by our enduring Principles.

Take renewable energy for example. There is a significant timescale involvedin these types of deals, some of which span multiple decades and territoriesacross the globe – we approach them with a mindset of delivering societalimpact and making financial sense. This ladders up to our Net Zero ambitionswhich we’re looking to achieve by the year 2050.

PIN: Are you seeing a consumer trend towards purchasing “greener”products?

McCauley Sine: Yes, we are certainly seeing growing interest insustainable products and services amongst pet owners.

Take alternative proteins as one example. According to a recent RaboResearchreport, demand for insect protein as an ingredient in pet food could hit halfa million tons by 2030, up from 10,000 tons today. In fact, our own survey of1,500 cat owners across the United Kingdom found nearly half (47 per cent)would consider buying insect protein.

In 2021 we launched Lovebug, the first insect-based cat food in the UK. Theseinsects are grown on a farm that runs on 100 per cent renewable electricityand they are fed on 100 per cent surplus veggies and plants, reducing foodwaste.

Also, Karma™ is a new brand plant-first dry dog food we launched last year inthe U.S., which makes it simple for pet owners to incorporate a plant-first,nutritious, delicious diet into their pets’ lives. The brand is committed tosustainability through its ingredients, partnerships, and business practices.We have a partnership with TerraCycle, which means our packaging is recyclablethrough TerraCycle’s program or locations.

PIN: How important is creating a more sustainable food system to MarsPetcare?

McCauley Sine: Very! We believe that the world we want tomorrow startswith how we do business today. That’s why we’re so focused on packagingcircularity, sustainable sourcing, and all aspects of our sustainability plan.We all need to do our part to build a more sustainable future for tomorrow.

Image: LinkedIn/marika-mccauley-sine

_This article originally appeared _

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