Mars’ UK operations will be fully powered by renewable electricity after the company signed a supply deal with energy company Eneco UK.
The food and drink giant has signed a ten-year deal with Eneco, under which it will receive enough renewable electricity to power all 12 of its offices in the UK.
The electricity will be generated by Eneco’s Moy Wind Farm, a 20-turbine project located near Inverness which has a generational capacity of 60MW.
Mars has been pursuing renewable energy and efficiency projects since enacting a target for its global operations to be carbon neutral by 2040.
In April 2014 the company launched a windfarm in Texas which now generates the equivalent of Mars’ entire US activity, and last year it reached an interim target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 25% compared to a 2007 baseline.
Barry Parkin, chief sustainability and health & wellbeing officer at Mars, said that the company was proud that the brands it manages in the UK are now manufactured using renewables.
“As with our wind farm in Lamesa, Texas, Moy will contribute significantly to our effort to eliminate fossil fuel energy use and greenhouse gas emissions from our global operations by 2040 as part of our ‘Sustainable in a Generation’ program.
“The Moy Wind Farm is part of our innovative and long-term approach to achieving our goal to be a successful and sustainable business for generations to come,” he said.
Parkin added that Mars felt all businesses have a “responsibility to tackle climate change” and would be working to encourage other companies to take similar steps.
“Working together, government and industry can move the needle on climate change,” he said.
Meanwhile Zoisa Walton, country director for Eneco UK, said the project brought together “all the elements” of the company’s strategy.
“…a renewable generating asset, a like-minded partner in Mars, and the opportunity to deliver real benefits to the local community. We are proud to be supplying Mars UK and to be working with them to create a more sustainable future,” she said.
The Moy Wind Farm project was originally brought forward by Carbon Free Developments in February 2012 before Eneco joined as financiers in July 2013. Eneco assumed project leadership from that date and it began generating power last month.
Mars is one of 58 major corporations currently signed up to the Climate Group’s RE100 initiative, which has been established to help firms derive their total electricity demand from renewable sources through on-site generation, power purchase agreements or green tariffs offered by suppliers.
Mark Kenber, chief executive at the Climate Group, said at last month’s Clean Energy Summit that he was confident the number of firms signed up would double before the end of the year.