Water Impacts

Water Stewardship

Taking Responsibility for our Resource Use

Water scarcity affects more than 40% of people globally, and that percentage is rising with population growth. Agriculture is the biggest user of water, which means to manage water sustainably, we should focus on what’s grown in our value chains and where it’s grown. We also should factor in the impacts of climate change on the availability of water. In many places, climate change will alter precipitation patterns, not only with more or less rain, but also with changes in the timing and intensity of rainfall that could damage agriculture.

As part of our Sustainable in a Generation Plan, our ultimate goal is to eliminate water use in excess of sustainable levels.

Mars relied on science to set this goal for better water stewardship. We’ve mapped the total water use across our global supply chains and assessed whether that water comes from natural rainfall or irrigation. Where we currently rely on irrigation, we’ve assessed whether the watersheds used for that water are experiencing stress, and we’re prioritizing our efforts on those watersheds under the most stress. These watersheds are located in Australia, India, Pakistan, Spain and the United States. As we work toward our ultimate goal, our interim target is to cut unsustainable water use by half by 2025, in close collaboration with our suppliers and others across our extended value chain.

Read the details in our Water Stewardship Position Paper

Our Water Stewardship Action Plan

Within our direct operations, we’re focused on using water efficiently, promoting water reuse and recycling, and preventing pollution through responsible waste water management. We delivered an absolute reduction in global water use of 18% from 2007 to 2015; we’re now focused on delivering an additional 15% improvement in water efficiency within our manufacturing facilities in water stressed regions by 2020.

In our supply chains, we’re assisting with farmer training and technology that helps advance more sustainable water use. Where we can’t reduce water use to sustainable levels, we may engage in water recharge activities, such as landscape restoration, to recharge water levels to the point necessary to meet our targets. These recharge activities will be in the same watersheds as those within which we operate/source and they will be independently verified.

If interventions can’t help relieve stress on a local watershed where we source, we’re prepared to change where we source to protect that watershed.

Every Drop of Water is Precious

As populations continue to grow, our Associates want to help. Everyone at Mars is focused on using water more efficiently in our production processes and in everyday life at the office or factory.

Carefully managing the water we need for our operations is vital to protecting our business, our communities and the planet. We appreciate every drop, safeguarding water quality and availability wherever we operate.

Some places are in more urgent need of water conservation than others. Our research shows that 43 percent of our plants are located in areas with high water stress.1 In 2016, we introduced new, more challenging water use targets for all sites with high local water stress.

Around the world, Mars sites are working to lessen their impact and create more responsible water-usage practices.

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