Mars Inc invests $1bn in Trump climate deal backlash

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The corporate backlash is growing against Donald Trump's withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord, with Mars Inc launching a $1 billion sustainability plan and an M&M's campaign centred on renewable energy.

It is the latest climate move by the family-owned firm, which emerged as a vocal critic of the US president's decision to pull out of the 2015 climate pact, saying it was "disappointed" with the withdrawal and stressing that corporations could not go it alone when it came to tackling climate change.

Mars Inc is now rolling out a $1 billion (£771 million) investment to help cut greenhouse gas emissions across its value chain by 67% by 2050, run a poverty reduction and sustainability programme for farmers and suppliers, and ramp up food safety and security efforts.

Wind turbine
Mars Inc plans to champion renewable energy through its M&M's brand (PA)

Chief executive Grant F Reid said: "This plan is about not just doing better, but doing what's necessary. We're doing this because it's the right thing to do but also because it's good business.

"We expect to have a competitive advantage from a more resource-efficient supply chain, and from ensuring that everyone in our supply chain is doing well."

The Snickers, Twix, Milky Way and Skittles maker has also revealed plans to champion renewable energy through its M&M's brand, featuring images like wind turbines alongside its red and yellow candy characters.

Its sustainability investments and M&M's campaign were announced ahead of the UN General Assembly and Climate Week which will run from September 18 to 24 in New York.

Mr Reid said: "If we are to help deliver on the targets agreed in Paris and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, there has to be a huge step change.

"While many companies have been working on being more sustainable, the current level of progress is nowhere near enough."

The now US-shunned Paris agreement aims to prevent the Earth from heating up by 2C since the start of the industrial age.

Since the world has already warmed about 1.1C since the Industrial Revolution, the accord aimed at making sure the threshold was not breached with each nation curbing heat-trapping emissions.

All but a very small number of scientists say the overwhelming majority of warming is a result of human activity, as do dozens of scientific academies and professional societies.

The chief executive added: "Mars has been in business for four generations and intends to be for the next four generations.

"The only way that will happen is if we do things differently to ensure that the planet is healthy and all people in our extended supply chains have the opportunity to thrive."