Mars Moves Toward Carbon Neutral Operations with Wind Farm
By Grocery Headquarters Staff
Mars, Incorporated, in partnership with Sumitomo Corporation of Americas, announced an agreement on a new 200MW wind farm that will generate 100% of the electricity needs of Mars’ U.S. operations, which is comprised of 70 sites, including 37 factories and 25,000 Associates. ‘Mesquite Creek Wind,’ a 118-turbine wind farm was jointly developed by Sumitomo and BNB Renewable Energy and is based near Lamesa, Texas with a footprint of 25,000 acres. With an annual output of over 800,000 megawatt-hours, the energy created from the wind farm will represent 24% of Mars’ total global factory and office carbon footprint – equivalent to the electricity required to power about 61,000 U.S. households. The wind farm is one of the ways Mars is achieving its goal to make its operations ‘Sustainable in a Generation’ by eliminating greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. In the shorter term, Mars has committed to reduce fossil fuel energy and greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2015, using 2007 as its baseline year. The Mesquite Creek wind farm will enable Mars to meet this 2015 goal. BNB, the originating developer of the wind farm, began discussions with Mars and brought Sumitomo Corporation in to the joint venture. Sumitomo Corporation and Mars, Incorporated have reached contractual arrangements that allow Mars to receive all the renewable energy certificates from Mesquite Creek, offsetting the energy use for Mars’ entire U.S. facilities. Barry Parkin, chief sustainability officer at Mars, Incorporated, commented, “We are committed to doing our part to limit climate change. We are therefore delighted to be announcing this major renewable project that takes us a big step towards our goal of becoming carbon neutral in our operations. This is an innovative approach that makes great business and environmental sense.” “We are pleased to be partnered with Mars to help them reduce their carbon footprint and allow their electricity to be carbon-neutral in the U.S. Mesquite Creek is a landmark project for Sumitomo and our sixth renewable energy investment in the U.S., further strengthening our commitment as a major developer and owner of renewable energy,” said William Cannon, Vice President, Sumitomo Corporation of Americas. “By making this extraordinary commitment to buy renewable energy, Mars is sending a clear message that companies, private and public, have the power to lead the world on climate change. It’s good for the bottom line, it’s good for the environment, and projects like this leave a lasting legacy of values we hold dear. Thank you Mars and Sumitomo,” said Jonathan Butcher, Sr., a founder of BNB.