Momentum is building among companies, investors, cities, and states across the U.S. to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy. Public- and private-sector leaders are taking bold action to expand clean energy and use our energy resources more efficiently. As a purpose-based company, we at Mars believe that the world we want tomorrow starts with how we do business today. We understand firsthand the effects of climate change on our communities, our customers, and our businesses — and we recognize that low-carbon solutions can help to build an even stronger and more resilient economy.
Mars Inc. is a family-owned business with operations in Pennsylvania — we make our Dove, Milky Way, and 3 Musketeers candy in Lancaster County. Additionally, Mars provides pet food and pet health services around the world, with Mars Fishcare in Bucks County and 65 pet hospitals throughout Pennsylvania. In Pennsylvania and across all our operations, we are investing heavily in transforming our business to reduce pollution and promote clean energy.
Mars is one of nearly 100 Pennsylvania companies committed to reducing our carbon footprint. However, the business community cannot tackle the challenges of climate change by itself. We also need strong action from the government, and that opportunity for action exists right now in Pennsylvania with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). RGGI is a successful, bipartisan initiative designed to reduce carbon dioxide pollution from power plants and invest in low-carbon technologies under a predictable, market-based program, already embraced by 11 other states in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.
RGGI can be used to help the private sector invest in clean energy, create sustainable jobs, and support communities affected by the clean energy transition, as well as those that have been long and disproportionately harmed by pollution. If Pennsylvania links to the program, it is expected to produce $300 million in its first year alone, an important investment opportunity as Pennsylvania emerges from the pandemic-driven economic slowdown.
RGGI has a proven track record as the most efficient and economical way to reduce carbon emissions and spur energy innovation. Expert analysis shows that it will work in Pennsylvania as well, cutting carbon pollution by 188 million tons, creating 27,000 jobs, and expanding the state’s economy by nearly $2 billion by 2030.
This would complement our Sustainable in a Generation Plan. As part of our plan, Mars is dramatically reducing the environmental impact of our operations, in line with what science says is necessary to keep the planet healthy. As part of that effort, Mars aims to reduce our operational greenhouse gas emissions 42% by 2025 and 100% by 2040. Mars is already using or purchasing renewable electricity to cover more than 50% of our total global footprint, and we are a founding member of RE100, a global initiative bringing together businesses that are committed to 100% renewable electricity by 2050.
Pennsylvania has been an energy powerhouse for most of our nation’s history. Now, the energy sector is at a pivotal point, as the world turns away from fossil fuels toward cleaner and increasingly more economical renewable energy.
That is why Mars is proud to be one of nearly two dozen companies, from Westinghouse to BP, as well as small businesses across Pennsylvania, urging the state to quickly finalize its participation in RGGI. In doing so, Mars would be proud to partner with Pennsylvania to lead our nation and world forward into the future of energy.
Anton Vincent is the president of Mars Wrigley North America, the world’s largest confectionery company with operations in Elizabethtown, Pa. It is a member of the Ceres Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP) Network.