Mars’s water stewardship system is based on the notion of working internally before extending further. It is different from another large corporation, Nestle, in terms of managing water stewardship. The latter company is highly active in building water preservation projects. It cooperates with various non-commercial organizations and stimulates water efficiency innovation. Mars strongly excels at promoting and advocating for water preservation because it supports such a paradigm internally. However, the company is not as active as other companies in cooperating with organizations and nations. Therefore, the main strength of Mars’ water stewardship is its internal support, and the main weakness is the lack of cooperative actions.
Mars is a food company that has been a vocal advocator for corporate responsibility in regard to sustainability. The company’s official website states: “Our primary focus until now has been on reducing the water our own operations withdraw” (“Water Stewardship Position Statement”). In other words, Mars works on water stewardship issues internally. In addition, the corporation claims: “While collaboration is needed to solve water problems, we believe our approach to reducing our water impacts can set an example for others” (“Water Stewardship Position Statement”). Therefore, the main strategic approach for water stewardship at Mars is improving water sustainability measures on its own operations and supply chains. Another indication for the company’s internal approach is reflected in its Health, Safety, and Environmental Policy, which dedicates two major points for its associates (“Facility Sustainability”). Mars refers to the members of the company, such as employees, as associates. The company strives to empower them through active support and encouragement. Thus, the presence of a strong support network, in conjunction with an internal approach, can be considered as a key advantage of Mars compared to other companies.
Moreover, Mars’s ownership style ensures that such empowerment is effective. It is important to note that the company is mutually owned, and mutuality is one of the five core principles of the corporation (Michie and Roll 1). The fact that people working at Mars are owners of the company makes them invested in all of their activities because it is in their main interest that the company succeeds. Therefore, these associates are mutually supportive of one another, which establishes a strong network, where every member can rely on each other. It is further supports the statement that the internal approach at Mars is its advantage because it possesses the necessary measures to ensure that the given form of water stewardship is properly implemented. The impact of sustainable development on business is one of the latest trends observed in society. The economic activities of many international and national, large and small companies have a devastating effect on natural systems, which is reflected in the reduction of fish stocks, forests, water reserves, and agricultural land worldwide, as well as increased pollution, increased toxic waste and global climate change.
However, one of the primary disadvantages of Mars in regard to water sustainability is its lack of external cooperation and regular checks. The overall corporate sustainability ranking of the company is at an average level of 64, which does not match its vocal attitude towards the issue (“Mars CSR/ESG Ranking”). In contrast, Nestle actively supports local communities at the site of operation, which indicates a greater degree of external cooperativeness. In addition, the latter company conducts regular water audits and checks, which explains why the company was able to fully recycle the water supply chain (Sengupta 152). Therefore, it is evident that cooperative measures and strict monitoring are effective at achieving the necessary results in corporate water stewardship.
Nevertheless, there is no indication of Mars doing the same because, as was stated before, it chooses to work internally. In addition, the company fully relies on its associates, which partially dismisses the relevance of audits. It is important to note that the company recognizes that it needs to shift towards collaborative activities (“Mars Changing How”). Although its support network is strong and effective, the overall level of success in water stewardship can be significantly improved by cooperating and conducting regular checks. In addition, in order to further support the statement regarding Mars’ lack of strict audits and cooperation being a disadvantage, it is important to understand the costs of action and inaction. It is stated that cost inaction in terms of water stewardship is greater than the cost of action for both society and the company itself (Allan et al. 149). That is why the isolated approach implemented by Mars can be considered as a disadvantage.
In conclusion, it is important to understand the critical difference between systemic approaches used by various companies. In the case of Mars, the company utilizes its ownership structure of mutuality. It uses it to create a strong support network for its associates, who are the main advocators and catalyzers of the water stewardship programs. However, Mars’ internal approach and lack of audits limit its impact and effectiveness in regards to addressing water stewardship issues. Nestle is an outstanding illustration of a company utilizing regular audits and fully recycling water supply to a remarkable degree.
Allan, Tony, et al. The Oxford Handbook of Food, Water and Society. Oxford University Press, 2019.
“Facility Sustainability.” MARS, 2020. Web.
“Mars CSR/ESG Ranking.” CSRHUB, 2020. Web.
Michie, Jonathan, and Kate Roll. “Future Governance Options for the Mars Corporation.” Saïd Business School WP 2017-10, vol. 1, no. 5, 2017, pp. 1-34.
Sengupta, Pradip K. Industrial Water Resource Management: Challenges and Opportunities for Corporate Water Stewardship. Wiley-Blackwell, 2017.
“Water Stewardship Position Statement.” MARS, 2020. Web.