Mars is a company that is involved in the industry of confectionery, pet food, as well as other food products producing; moreover, it provides animal care services. It seems reasonable to claim that Mars has developed quite a significant supply chain within the scope of water issues. The firm states that its “water stewardship goal is to ensure water use in our value chain is within annually renewable levels by watershed” (Mars, Incorporated, “Water Stewardship”).
Thus, Mars pays a lot of attention to the rational usage of water, realizing the fact that it is a critically important resource of the Earth. What is more, the company understands the intersection and interaction between its water stewardship and the other priorities of sustainability. According to “Water Stewardship,” “climate change will impact water scarcity, while agricultural irrigation affects land use through its impact on crop yields.” Such an approach to the water issue allows for creating notable and sufficient policies related to the theme above.
According to Mars’ theory of change, the firm obliges itself to cooperate with diverse organizations that are striving to overcome water problems, basing this cooperation on the principles of transparency and efficient collaboration. The company’s strategy in the framework of water stewardship is found in the steps of understanding, eliminating, reducing, reusing, and treating, and recycling (Mars, Incorporated, “Water Stewardship”). It means that after the firm undertakes water stewardship reviews at manufacturing sites locations with water deficits, it implements comprehensive actions to deal with identified water challenges.
Hence, the supply chain of Mars might be characterized as a water-safe one, which has been noted in several publications (Ceres; Mars, Incorporated, “Mars Changing”). Mars provides an excellent example to its rivals, which makes them develop and sustain similar and effective water-safe policies. Finally, the water stewardship strategy of Mars is quite sustainable itself, as the company continuously improves and updates its long- and short-term approaches to the issue.
Generally, by 2019, the situation with water-safe strategies has significantly revived in the food sector. It is claimed that the food sector improved its management of water risk; corporate boards became more water aware; there are still many troubles with managing water risks efficiently (Ceres). It should be emphasized that Mars is among the leaders of beneficial and safe water use. The company demonstrated noticeably improved performance in the water management practice.
There are a plethora of various environmental programs among firms that allow creating safe and rational water policies. For instance, Unilever claims that within the scope of its supply chain, the company maintains agricultural suppliers on superior irrigation approaches and facilities (Unilever). It is being done to refine crop yields with a modest volume of water usage. By applying such a strategy, the company has achieved some noteworthy results: the firm has reduced water use for production by 47% per ton since 2008 (Unilever). The company founds its water-safe approaches on the UN Sustainable development Goals.
Then, Tyson Food also cares about its water policy in the framework of its sustainability goal. Tyson’s water intensity decreased by 2.96% in 2018 if compared with 2015 (Tyson). The company aims to continue this tendency and support its sustainable approaches encouraging suppliers to comply with them. For this, Tyson is currently cooperating with the World Resources Institute that provides the company with transparent and comprehensive reports. Then, the firm claims the goal of absolute adherence to the obligatory provisions provided by the Environmental Protection Agency.
It seems reasonable to assume that keeping in mind the companies’ performance, the described above programs are quite effective and progressive. Each program emphasizes the importance of safe water usage in the manufacturing process. Then, it might be assumed that some points are founded on relevant scholarly investigations. Javadinejad et al. claim, “developments in crop water efficiency provide a benefit for sustainable water management” (145), which is stated in Unilever’s water policy. Mars conducts the water stewardship strategy that is quite similar to the “interference framework” (Javadinejad et al. 143).
The negative aspect related to the water issue might be a small extent of cooperation between the businesses. It seems that the firms are to pay less attention to competition and rivalry when it comes to water use.
Nestle, being a leader in the packaged food industry, might be a good example to compare with within the scope of sustainable water practices. The company adheres to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which might be defined as a common feature of all policies above (Mars, Incorporated, “Water Stewardship”; Unilever; Tyson; Nestle).
Besides, Nestle engages with suppliers, especially in agriculture; in particular, it has given new technologies to farmers to ease the monitoring of soil moisture. Implementing new technologies into the water stewardship and supply chains to maintain environmental sustainability is also a common point of the policies above. Nevertheless, in comparison with Mars, Nestle does not seem to develop enough concrete actions regarding water safe ensuring. It is evident from the water stewardship performance of Mars by the year 2019 that is better than Nestle’s one.
In conclusion, it seems rational to state that water stewardship strategies have become a vital element of business nowadays. Mars has demonstrated quite significant achievements in this regard that may be considered more convincing than Nestle’s ones. The common features among the above policies are implementing new technologies, adherence to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and undertaking measures to ensure water-safe supply chains.
Javadinejad, Safieh, et al. “Reliable, Resilient, and Sustainable Water Management in Different Water Use Sectors.” Water Conservation Science and Engineering, vol. 4, no. 1, 2019, pp. 133–148.
Mars, Incorporated. “Mars Changing How It Does Business One Year From Launch Of $1B Sustainable In A Generation Plan”. Prnewswire.com. Web.
—. “Water Stewardship Position Statement”. Mars. Web.
Nestle. “Ensuring Water for All.” Nestle. Web.
Tyson. “Water.” Tyson. Web.
Unilever. “Water Use.” Unilever. Web.