Mars is getting better at recognizing and addressing issues faced by small-scale farmers, workers, and women in its supply chain. An important improvement has been their endorsement of the UN’s CEO Water Mandate and participation in CDP Water. However, Mars could score much higher on climate if it strengthened supplier requirements to reduce GHG emissions and build resilience.
How are the scores formed?
We assessed publicly available information on the policies and commitments of the 'Big 10' food companies towards the sourcing of agricultural commodities from developing countries. The Scorecard looks at seven themes, weighing each theme equally. The index tackles some cutting edge issues that will require rigorous debate and dialogue between companies, civil society and industry experts. Find out more...
What do the scores mean?
- 8 - 10Good
- 6 - 7Fair
- 4 - 5Some progress
- 2 - 3Poor
- 0 - 1Very poor
Mars commits to respect communities’ right to “give or withhold” their ‘Free, Prior and Informed Consent’ when acquiring land used for some agricultural commodities. But why not for all commodities? Mars could do a lot more to ensure that it respects communities’ land rights throughout its supply chain.See how other companies score on Land
Mars has come a long way to address women’s empowerment, particularly in the cocoa sector. The company is making progress to implement its gender action plan, with new targets and ambition. Information about other planned gender assessments in other sourcing countries would be welcome.See how other companies score on Women
Mars has made some progress in committing to support farmers and is now showing willingness to also pursue advocacy efforts in support of farmer’s rights. However the company needs to require its suppliers to treat farmers fairly and ensure they receive a living income. Its code for suppliers also needs a sharper farmer focus.See how other companies score on Farmers
Mars shows some general understanding of issues faced by workers and has made a new commitment on the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. However, like many of the Big Ten, it has limited specific information about workers throughout its supply chain and does not commit to pay workers a living wage.See how other companies score on Workers
Mars has aggressive policies across the board to achieve ambitious GHG reduction targets and is addressing deforestation in its value chain, as well as sourcing renewable energy. Mars also takes a leadership role in climate advocacy with the US government. The weak link is Mars’ sourcing requirements to its suppliers; if they tighten those requirements, then they could quickly rise up the scorecard for climate change.See how other companies score on Climate
As the only privately held company in the scorecard, Mars is relatively open about corporate governance, lobbying, the volumes it sources as well as the suppliers and countries from which it sources. It has made the largest improvement out of all companies in Transparency. However, Mars does not provide any disclosure about its tax payments.See how other companies score on Transparency
While not yet a leader, Mars continues to steadily improve on water. This year, the company joined the CEO Water Mandate and began disclosing through CDP water. We are still waiting for guidelines to suppliers on water.See how other companies score on Water