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MCLEAN, VA.: September 06, 2017. Family-owned candy and pet-food manufacturer Mars is to spend nearly US$1billion on a sustainability plan to tackle climate change, poverty in supply chains and resource scarcity.

MARSThe company says it wants to reduce GHG emissions 67 percent by 2050; improve the working lives of one million people in its value chain; and advance science, innovation and marketing to help billions of people and their pets lead healthier, happier lives.

Speaking ahead of this month's UN General Assembly and Climate Week in New York, Mars CEO Grant Reid said the engine of global business – its supply chain – is broken and requires transformational cross-industry collaboration to fix it.

"This plan is about not just doing better, but doing what's necessary. We're doing this because it's the right thing to do but also because it's good business," Reid declared. "Creating mutual benefits for the people in our supply chain, and mitigating our impact on the environment are sound business choices. We also know that increasingly our consumers care about these issues as much as we do."

Reid said that when tackling GHG emissions many businesses, including Mars, have made good progress in relation to their own operations but haven't extended the effort to their broader supply chains. He added that attempts to address poverty and human rights throughout the global supply chain have been well-intentioned but largely unsatisfactory.

"If we are to help deliver on the targets agreed in Paris and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, there has to be a huge step change," he said. "While many companies have been working on being more sustainable, the current level of progress is nowhere near enough."

Mars already purchases enough wind power needed for the U.S. production of its M&M's candy, while its UK and U.S. operations use 100 percent renewables, with more markets to follow in 2018.

"Data and connectivity are helping us get smarter about our impact every year. Today, climate science is clear and we understand the environmental and social challenges in our supply chain better than ever before," explained Reid. "With this knowledge, it is clear that the scale of intervention needs to be much bolder – now is the time for business to reassess its role and responsibility in the face of the evidence," he added.

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