M&M's Independently-Sourced Ethics and Sustainability Profile

M&M's Independently-Sourced Ethics and Sustainability Profile

 

M&M’s, owned by Mars Inc., is a leading candy distributor. As one of the most popular snacks, we expect M&M’s sustainability and ethics to lead the industry. Mars Inc’s energy use is somewhat sustainable and its renewable energy use is not as strong as we would hope, but it's getting better. M&M's products are made up of ingredients with a moderate environmental impact and the packaging is somewhat environmentally harmful. M&M’s does not discriminate against employees of color. Mars Inc makes a positive social impact. Based on the data that we’ve collected, we do not give M&M's our full endorsement, but it's not the worst of the worst.

70/100

Environment

 

Environmental Breakdown:

75

90

80

Strongest Areas:

    The CornNuts packaging is recyclable.

Weakest Areas:

    1. The ingredients used in M&M products often rely on large scale agriculture and therefore involve deforestation
    2. M&M wrappers are NOT entirely recyclable
    3. Mars Inc. has a high carbon footprint
Renewabe Energy

Power

Packaging & Materials

 
 

Greenhouse Gas Emissions: MWh / most recent year:

4.65 Million

4.7M

MWh can power:

1M

cars for a year

1

619K

homes for a year

2

73%

of Boston for a year

3

MWh CO2 Avoided by Renewable Energy Use / most recent year:

1.4 Million

1.4M

MWh can power:

304K

cars for a year

1

186K

homes for a year

2

21%

of Boston for a year

3

Our Analysis:

As a multinational manufacturer of food products, one would expect that Mars Inc would have a high carbon footprint. In reality, Mars Inc emits very large amount of carbon into the air. Compared to its greenhouse gas output, Mars Inc. uses a moderate amount of renewable energy (about 21% of its total energy use is from green sources). Compared to the last reported year, Mars Inc has made positive progress with its energy use, using more renewable energy.

Data for this section provided is by CDP, a nonprofit that runs a trustworthy company disclosure report database. Data based off the most recent "Climate Change" CDP report from when this profile was created (unless later this section has been later updated by our team: our team updates profiles often to keep them relevant and factually-current). Profile creation date:

August 4, 2021

*Data on this section may be rounded; rounding should have a minimal effect on results.. 1: Using estimated data from the EPA. Stating that cars emit an average of 4.6 metric tons CO2 per year. 2: Data estimated by CCFPD: U.S. households emit an average of 7.5 metric tons CO2 per year. 3: Supported by Boston's 2018 emission report: approximately 6.4 million metric tons greenhouse gases emitted by the city (governmental operations only) of Boston in 2018.

Top Materials Used in Product:

sugar, cocoa, milk, lactose, starch

Packaging Materials:

Polypropylene Film mixed with miscellaneous metals

Time for Company Name's Packaging to Decompose:

30 Years

That's the amount of time that it takes to:

2.3M

eat

bags of chips

1

233

run

laps across the continental USA

2

717K

watch

episodes of The Office®

3

Our Analysis:

M&M’s packaging has somewhat sustainable packaging, completely decomposing in 30 years. The packaging is not somewhat recyclable. The top 5 ingredients in M&M’s most popular product are moderately-sustainable. The first most prominent ingredient is sugar, which often uses lots of water and agro-chemicals in production. The second most prominent ingredient is cocoa, which has limited environmental effects. The third most prominent ingredient is lactose, which comes from cows that produce methane and contribute to global warming.

1: Estimating that one personal bag of chips takes 7 minutes to fully eat. 2: Value derived from the world record for running across the continental USA in about 47 days (San Francisco to New York City). 3: Value derived from the average episode length of 22 minutes for The Office® by NBC®. The Office® is a registered trademark of NBC®: we are not at all affiliated with either The Office® or NBC®.

This data is based off the data available when this profile was first created unless the data was later updated (our team frequently updates profiles to make them as relevant and factually-current as possible. Profile creation date:

August 4, 2021

Sustainable Policy

 

Climate Transparency:

Mars Inc. has released climate trends in a CDP report. Also, Mars Inc. has detailed sustainability information on its website.

Energy Shift:

According to CDP data, Mars Inc. has increased its use of renewable energy.

Our Analysis:

Mars Inc. seems to care about making its products and operations sustainable. They have taken some measures to reduce their environmental impact and they are transparent about their sustainability practices, but bolder action is can be taken.

This is NOT the bottom of this page. Keep Scrolling.

 

Human Ethics Breakdown:

99

86

95

Strongest Areas:

    1. Mars Inc has made significant efforts to further the education of its workers.
    2. Mars Inc has made recent efforts to avoid participating in encouraging worker exploitation in developing countries
    3. Mars Inc has instituted multiple diversity programs such as “Full Equity.”

Weakest Areas:

    1. Mars Inc has been dismissed on cases regarding worker discrimination and exploitation due to technicalities rather than due to lack of substantial evidence.
    2. n/a
    3. n/a

Social Mission:

Creating a better tomorrow through business today.

To fulfill their mission:

Numbers.png
Mars Inc. ethically sources 100% of its fish and has helped increase coral cover from 5% to 55%.

Mars Inc. ethically sources 100% of its fish and has helped increase coral cover from 5% to 55%.

Numbers (2).png
Mars Inc. donated medical equipment during Covid-19 and provided $2.3M to aid the coronavirus response in India.

Mars Inc. donated medical equipment during Covid-19 and provided $2.3M to aid the coronavirus response in India.

Numbers.png
Mars Inc. has set ambitious goals for sustainability, already donating $1B to a sustainability plan and committing to cut GHG by 25% and water by 50% by 2025.

Mars Inc. has set ambitious goals for sustainability, already donating $1B to a sustainability plan and committing to cut GHG by 25% and water by 50% by 2025.

 

Lawsuits Against

M&M's

?

Lawsuits Found*

3 Most Relevant Lawsuits:

Year:

Reason:

Amount ($USD)

2018

Mars Inc. was sued for failing to disclose its labor practices.

Judgment:

Dismissed

$n/a

2007

A former employee accused Mars Inc. of discrimination based on race and disability status.

Judgment:

Dismissed

$n/a

2017

Mars was sued for failing to label that its products were produced using slave labor in Thailand.

Judgment:

Dismissed

$n/a

* Within the last 20 years. According to Justia.

Our Analysis:

Based on our research, Mars Inc. has some issues when it comes to human rights, environmental, and health-related lawsuits. The majority of their relevant lawsuits come from the late 1900s (and are somewhat recent, meaning that Mars Inc.’s modern operations consist of some violations). Some of the past cases against Mars Inc. and M&M have been dismissed due to lack of evidence. We found no major violations of human rights or environmental law from Mars Inc, and allegations that arose were dismissed. There were concerns about slave labor, however such sectors have been remedied in recent years.

 
 

Diversity & Equity

Racial Progression #1:

Mars Incorporated partnered with PolicyLink which is an institute to advocate for racial equity and social change.

Racial Progression #2:

Mars Inc. joined McKinsey’s Black Leadership Academy to provide Black individuals with the tools needed to prosper in a professional environment.

Our Racial Stance Analysis:

Mars Inc says they have the goal of contributing to ending racial injustice and squashing the racial wealth-gap. Mars has committed to supporting organizations that provide support for black owned businesses and has committed to donating money to the NCAAP Legal Defense Fund for education programs for black youth. There are very few reports that claim that Mars Inc. discriminates against employees of color, and such reports are backed by limited evidence.

This is NOT the bottom of this page. Keep Scrolling.

 
91/100

Politics

M&M's

Political Donations:

67% Democrat
33% Republican

Donations or a portion of the donations may be from employees, not the company as a whole. Data from Open Secrets and/or Goods Unite Us.

Contribution:

Top 3 Political Candidates:

Medium

Joe Biden

DNC Services

Bernie Sanders

Political Analysis:

Mars Inc. as a company donates a very little amount of money to political candidates and organizations; donations mostly come from employees. When Mars Inc. donates, they donate mostly to candidates and organizations in the Democrat party. Mars Inc. spent $460K in 2021 for lobbying, recently spending most resources advocating for 1. addressing plastic debris in oceans 2. helping farmers benefit from the reduction of greenhouse gases and 3. discarding certain information on food labels. Based on their donations, Mars Inc’s employees seem to be left-leaning. Mars Inc does not discriminate against employees based on their political views.

This is NOT the bottom of this page. Keep Scrolling.

 
54/100

Health

230

Calories

in best selling product

1

31

g Sugar

in best selling product

1

0

g Trans Fat

in best selling product

1

Our Analysis:

M&M’s sell themselves as a convenient chocolate snack. Packed with milk chocolate, it’s definitely effective at satisfying cravings. According to our sources (listed below), M&M’s are unhealthy as they are essentially sugar and controversial food dye. Due to this, limited consumption is recommended in order to prevent long term diseases such as diabetes. But, we give our kudos for M&M’s for having 0% Trans fat!

We are using public health data that may have or may not have been derived from licensed medical doctors. We are not giving you health advise. For health advise, ask your doctor. This information has the sole purpose of representing company ethics. We are not giving you medical information. Never take any medical actions as a result of information in this website section ("health"); it represents company ethics only. Ask.your doctor for medical advise.

1: Data is per serving. 1: Best selling product (information as of the the date that this ethical profile was published):

M&M 1.69 oz

Source for health data for this profile (although our team looks for only the most trustworthy sources, we do not endorse this source in any way):

We do NOT give M&M our ethical endorsement. 

79

/

100

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