Building on the strong transparency from our 2016 work, we have three main workstreams for 2017:
- Traceability update
- Bottom-up engagement
- Top-down engagement
Traceability – Establishing a solid baseline to inform the work ahead
Recognizing the importance of maintaining transparency in the supply chain, Mars will carry-out another round of global traceability. This second round aims to both close any gaps from the 2016 work and request information that goes deeper in understanding geographical origin and certification. This process will include all in-scope suppliers with 2016 purchasing data.
Top-down engagement – Mars seeks to partner with its suppliers to address social and environmental challenges that may exist
Using the data allowed us to go through a prioritization process of direct suppliers. The aim is to follow-up on last year’s engagement through one-on-one discussion around potential gaps identified, but also opportunities to collaborate towards compliance to the policy by 2020.
Bottom-up engagement – Focusing efforts where we can make the biggest impact
Simultaneously, we’ve prioritized upstream suppliers operating in geographies identified as important for the Mars supply chain. As we build steps towards compliance with direct suppliers, we aim to both infuse the values espoused in the policy but also work to identify hotspots that require innovative transformation – “examples of change”. Identifying these areas means going on the ground to confirm or reinterpret what the data indicates. We do so by visiting supplier concessions and offering support to close any potential gaps identified. However, we also take a broader look at the region, including surrounding communities, other active industries and ecosystems to gain an understanding of the context.
The Mars policy is an ambitious set of values that clearly states Mars’ intent to disassociate from destructive deforestation and rights abuse. But more importantly, it is a vision that will embark Mars and its suppliers on a journey to transform the supply chain into an agent of balance between people, planet and profit.