The Environmental Impact of Mars Wrigley Confectionery, Chewing Gum Producer

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Mars Wrigley Confectionery is a global leader in the manufacture of chewing gum, confections and chocolates. The main manufacturer, Mars Inc. bought Wrigley in 2008 for $23 billion. It is the manufacturer of popular chewing gum brands like PK, Juicy Fruit, Double-mint, Orbit and Big G. In 1969, first Wrigley office were at Kijabe street, Nairobi as The Wrigley Company East Africa Limited before it opened its first factory in Kenya in 1972, which is the multinational’s only manufacturing plant in Africa, serving Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia and South Sudan. Apart from China, Mars has been actively investing in Egypt, where it Twix, Flutes and Galaxy brands. Recently, MWC opened new Sh7 billion factory in Mavoko, Athi River. The new factory was recognized for adopting green building strategies and practices in its design and construction, becoming the first manufacturing plant in Eastern Africa and one of the few in Africa to achieve LEED GOLD certification status. (The certification by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) – a global green building rating system – recognizes organizations promoting sustainability in building design, construction, and operation).

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According to Euromonitor International, a global market intelligence publisher providing market research reports, statistics and online information on industries and consumers, Wrigley East Africa is the number one chewing gum maker in Kenya market with 87 per cent stake in 2017, followed by Mondelez International (five per cent) and Lotte Confectionery Company (four per cent). Euromonitor says that Wrigley’s PK, Doublemint and Extra brands, are the top three bestselling chewing gums in Kenya adding that “the company’s position can be attributed to intensive marketing activities, brand variety and affordable product pricing.”

Mars Wrigley East Africa, have a sustainable plan whereby they are committed to helping create a safe, healthy and sustainable world for their partners and the communities in which they operate. Over the past several years, they have made important progress, achieving their goal of sending zero waste to landfills from our facilities by reducing their direct Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions through renewable energy and energy efficiency while making significant strides to reduce food and other waste. Through this plan they are able to apply a systematic approach and sustainable procurement practices since their main raw materials are from the agricultural practices and land-use change associated with growing the ingredients they need to make their products.

After a thorough review of their resource use across their entire supply chain value (from raw materials to factories to final consumers), they now have a better understanding and implementation of green and sustainable procurement. And have a plan to tackle these issues, both internally and through participation in programs like Champions 12.3(Champions 12.3 is a coalition of executives from governments, businesses, international organizations, research institutions, farmer groups, and civil society dedicated to inspiring ambition, mobilizing action, and accelerating progress toward achieving SDG Target 12.3 by 2030), which aims to accelerate progress toward achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

The factory has been awarded for its efforts in reducing the impact on the environment by including a biomass boiler, highly efficient utility equipment, waste water treatment plant, the use of skylights and many windows in both the factory and office to allow the site to operate during the daylight hours with very few electric lights. Through their global sustainability agenda dubbed ‘Sustainable in a Generation,’ Mars Incorporated looks to secure positive impacts for business, people, and the planet. The company aims to cut all fossil fuel energy use and greenhouse gas emissions from our operations by 2040 and adopt a green concept.At MWC, SP is now used to rethink and retool business processes (in this case the procurement process). During the sourcing process, they are more selective when determining source of supply. Suppliers of more environmentally friendly products are given priority. As a world class organization they have incorporated environmental requirements in their products procurement specification. The organization has adopted specifications, which develop socially and environmentally preferable goods at competitive prices.

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