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Mars reaches zero-waste-to landfill milestone, helped by converting waste to energy

Confectionery giant Mars has announced that all of its factories across the globe have achieved their "zero waste to landfill" goals in 2015, helped by recycling and converting waste to fuel.

In a statement, the US firm said 126 locations had achieved this goal. It also said that the group had accomplished seven of its 16 sustainability targets in 2015.

“We have made significant progress toward making our operations truly sustainable over the last five years,” said Barry Parkin, chief sustainability and health & wellbeing officer for Mars.

He added: “Our associates are engaged in the work we are doing, and we’re proud that, as of the end of 2015, we achieved a 25% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from our operations and generated zero waste to landfill from all of our factories around the world.

“But we also missed the target in some critical areas—such as sustainable packaging improvements—so there’s plenty more to be done. Over the next five years—and beyond—we will continue to bring our Five Principles to life across our entire supply chain, from farm to consumer."

Gum waste to fuel

According to Mars, all waste from its locations are recycled, reused or used a fuel on site. Four Wrigley factories have reached our zero waste-to-landfill goal—in Asquith, Australia; Bangalore, India; Plymouth, England; and Poznan, Poland through a variety of methods.

In Poznan excess gum waste is cut and mixed with other materials and used as fuel, and leftover sweeteners are purified and used as an energy source for manufacturing. In Asquith, disposable solid waste is sent to an off-site bioreactor—the resulting methane is harnessed to generate alternative energy, which is directed back into the electricity grid.

The report outlines progress made in 2015 related to sustainability, health and wellbeing, food safety, responsible marketing and workplace engagement across our diverse business segments, including petcare, chocolate, Wrigley, food, drinks and symbioscience.

‘Big challenges’

“While we celebrate our progress and the efforts of Mars associates all over the world, we’re also keenly aware that big challenges remain,” said Grant F. Reid, CEO and office of the president for Mars.

 He added: “I’m confident that we are making a positive impact and creating growth that we can be proud of by delivering on our Five Principles of Quality, Responsibility, Efficiency, Mutuality and Freedom. I’m also certain that if business, government, non-governmental organizations and society work together, we can secure a great future for generations to come.”