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MARS Chocolate Maker to Power Entire U.S. Operation With a 118-Turbine Wind Farm
Here’s some sweet news. MARS, the makers of popular chocolate treats such as Snickers and M&M’s, plans to slash its global carbon footprint by 24 percent with a new 118-turbine wind farm that will produce enough energy to power all 37 of its factories across the United States. The 200-megawatt Mesquite Creek Wind facility in Lamesa, Texas is part of the company’s long-term goal to be be carbon neutral by 2040. In light of IKEA’s recent 98-megawatt wind farm investment, it could also be the start of a sustainability race between big global companies.
The 25,000-acre facility is part of a joint development between BNB Renewable Energy and Sumitomo, who plan to have the facility operational before the end of 2015. It will produce over 800,000 megawatt hours of energy per year, which is equivalent to the amount of electricity needed to power 61,000 U.S. homes. There’s just one caveat: Mesquite Creek won’t be hooked up directly to the MARS facilities; instead, the company will purchase renewable energy certificates that offset its carbon emissions from other sites across the country.
Barry Parkin, chief sustainability officer at Mars, said in a statement, “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.”
An increasing number of companies realize the importance of sustainability, which makes MARS a welcome addition to those that are trying to offset their impact on the environment. As part of its “Sustainable in a Generation” campaign, MARS also wants to send zero waste to landfills, and reduce water usage levels by 25 percent (over 2007 levels) before the end of 2015. Their plan also involves investments in hydropower, green steam, and solar gardens at various sites around the world.
Lead image by MARS
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