Sustainable Energy

Major food conglomerate plans to use only renewable electricity in the UK

Anmar Frangoul | Special to

Global food manufacturing firm Mars signaled its green credentials on Wednesday with an announcement that its U.K. operations will be completely powered by renewable electricity.

A partnership with sustainable business Eneco's Moy wind farm in Scotland will ensure that all of the electricity for its 12 U.K. sites will be clean, with Mars committing to purchase electricity via Eneco U.K. for the next ten years.

Based in McClean, Virginia, family owned Mars' brands include Snickers, Skittles and M&Ms.

"We're proud that the brands that we make here will now be manufactured using renewable electricity, and that we are reducing our carbon footprint in the U.K. and around the world," Barry Parkin, chief sustainability and health and wellbeing officer for Mars Incorporated, said in a statement.

Wind can power ‘79% of Scottish homes’

Overall, the company has a goal to make its global operations carbon neutral by 2040. Parkin went on to add that the Moy wind farm would "contribute significantly to our effort to eliminate fossil fuel energy use and greenhouse gas emissions from our global operations by 2040."

The Moy wind farm is located near the small city of Inverness in the Scottish Highlands.

Wind power is a crucial part of Scotland's renewable energy mix. According to the Scottish Government, onshore wind power is now the most common form of renewable energy there, while Scotland is also home to a quarter of Europe's "offshore wind resources."

Commenting on the announcement, WWF (World Wildlife Fund) Scotland's director said in a statement that it was "great to see a company like Mars demonstrating global responsibility by supporting the use of wind power in the manufacture of its products here in the U.K."

"With its huge renewable energy resources, Scotland is an ideal location to source the power needed to create products sustainably," Lang Banks added. "This is a great example of how business can help the U.K. meet its climate change targets."

Mars is not the only company looking to reduce its impact on the environment. Apple says that 93 percent of its energy came from renewable sources in 2015, while Google's website states it has been carbon neutral since 2007.