How Mars Plans To Become More Sustainable By 2025

When we reach for a piece of chocolate, most of the time it's because we're craving something rich and sweet. We don't often stop to think about where the ingredients came from, how the candy was produced, and the effects of that production on the environment. The chocolate industry has some seriously dirty secrets, though, ones that some companies like Ben & Jerry's and Tony's Chocolonely have set out to not only expose, but also correct.

We expect activism from Ben & Jerry's, but too often, big companies pay lip service to their sustainability and ethical production efforts. Not so with Mars. The home page for the Mars Wrigley website doesn't shill for chewing gum or Snickers. At the very top of the page, and indeed throughout the site, the spotlight is on the company's clear statement: "In the world we want tomorrow, the planet is healthy." How do we know Mars means what it says? They just released a report about their progress toward their cocoa sustainability goals.

By 2025, 100% of Mars chocolate will be sustainably produced and ethically sourced

A press release from Mars details the progress it's made toward the 100% sustainable and ethical goal the company has set for its chocolate production by 2025. The Cocoa for Generations report noted several achievements. First, for 2021, the company sourced 61% of its cocoa through the Responsible Cocoa program. Progress was made toward goals for improving opportunities for women in cocoa-producing regions and also for reducing deforestation and improving biodiversity in the parts of Africa that produce cocoa.

The chocolate industry has a lot of work to do when it comes to ending its destructive farming and production methods, according to the World Wildlife Fund, which points out that 70% of the world's cocoa beans are grown in West Africa, and in places like Ivory Coast, for example, cocoa farming has caused 70% of the country's illegal deforestation. 

Vice President for Mars Wrigley Cocoa, Amber Johnson, acknowledges that the company still has a ways to go, saying, "We remain constructively discontent – relentless in our work to create a modern, inclusive, and sustainable cocoa supply chain. One where the environment is protected, human rights are respected, and everyone has the opportunity to thrive." 

Measures like ethically and sustainably sourced cocoa along with vegan-friendly, animal-free chocolate are a step in the right direction.