When President Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris climate agreement, many were worried that it could spell the end of the accord. The concern was that if as big a player as the US was to leave, other countries would see little point in remaining. But in a strange twist of fate, the reverse has happened.
Nations have doubled down on their commitments, and the current White House administration is even receiving a backlash from major business and industry players who want the regulations and targets because they know they are necessary. The latest corporation to hit back at the withdrawal is the confectionery giant Mars, who has announced that it is launching a $1 billion ‘Sustainability in a Generation’ plan. The aim is to tackle its carbon emissions while at the same time promote sustainable farming for its products.
Industries are now waking up to the fact that cutting emissions is not just about doing good or preventing climate change, but is actually just good business sense. By switching from fossil fuels to renewables the cost of energy drops once you recoup the initial investment as the energy is cheap. It’s as simple as that.
“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,” explained Grant F Reid, the chief executive of Mars. “We expect to have a competitive advantage from a more resource-efficient supply chain, and from ensuring that everyone in our supply chain is doing well.”
Mars has set out a plan to cut its greenhouse gas emissions across its supply chain by 67 percent by 2050. In addition to this, they will also set up projects aimed at reducing poverty for their suppliers and farmers in low-income countries, as well as improving the sustainability of the farming practices that they run.
The massive investment by the $35-billion company, which makes all sorts of confectionary from Skittles to Juicy Fruit, has been announced in the run up to the UN General Assembly and Climate Week that is taking place in New York later this month. Mars hopes that as such a big hitter in the business world, it will encourage other companies to make similar environmental commitments.
And it seems that this mentality is working. To date, 14 states that account for a third of the US population and just under 40 percent of the US’s GDP, have formed the United States Climate Alliance in which they will maintain their commitments to the Paris agreement, bypassing the White House and the President entirely.