Mars Australia to use 100% solar energy by 2020
Mars Australia has signed a 20-year deal to get 100% of its electricity from solar energy by 2020.
Teaming up with energy firm Total Eren, a partnership between French oil major Total and solar and wind producer EREN, Mars aims to achieve the landmark by 2020.
Through the power purchase agreement, Total Eren will build a solar plant in Victoria by mid-2019 and also plans to develop a second renewable project in New South Wales.
This will effectively offset the carbon emitted by Mars’ six Australian factories and two sales offices, the firm said.
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The announcement comes a year after the confectionery giant pledged to invest around $1bn to tackle climate change.
The company, which owns brands such as M&Ms, Milky Way, and Twix, aims to slash greenhouse emissions across its value chain by 67% by 2050.
Through its sustainability plan, Mars says it also aims to "meaningfully improve the working lives" of one million people in its value chain by focusing on boosting income, unlocking opportunities for women and respecting human rights.
Barry O'Sullivan, general manager of Mars Petcare in Australia, welcomed the energy partnership as "a long-term commitment to a sustainable, greener planet that will benefit our customers, our consumers and the local and global community.”
He also said that rising electricity prices has helped to accelerate the company’s move towards renewables, a shift which has already taken place at Mars operations in Belgium, Brazil, Lithuania, the United Kingdom and the United States.
O’Sullivan said: “The rise in electricity prices last year accelerated our plans to join Mars sites in the US, UK and nine other countries in moving to renewable electricity.
“We acted quickly because the price volatility of energy in Australia made renewables the best option for our business, in addition to getting us closer to our commitment to eliminate greenhouse gases from our operations by 2040.”
As a country, Australia is currently one of the highest emitters of greenhouse gas per capita in the world.
It is hoped that the deal will go some way to help reduce the nation’s reliance on fossil fuels.
Kevin Rabinovitch, Mars global vice president of sustainability, added: “Last year we announced we’re spending a billion dollars in the next three years to start transforming our supply chain to get those impact reductions.
“We’ve made solid progress on the sustainability of our own operations since 2007, so now we’re in a good position to accelerate work and share lessons with our supply chain partners as we tackle impacts beyond our own operations.”
Trafigura and Yara International explore clean ammonia usage
Reducing shipping emissions is a vital component of the fight against global climate change, yet Greenhouse Gas emissions from the global maritime sector are increasing - and at odds with the IMO's strategy to cut absolute emissions by at least 50% by 2050.
How more than 70,000 ships can decrease their reliance on carbon-based sources is one of transport's most pressing decarbonisation challenges.
Yara and Trafigura intend to collaborate on initiatives that will establish themselves in the clean ammonia value chain. Under the MoU announced today, Trafigura and Yara intend to work together in the following areas:
- The supply of clean ammonia by Yara to Trafigura Group companies
- Exploration of joint R&D initiatives for clean ammonia application as a marine fuel
- Development of new clean ammonia assets including marine fuel infrastructure and market opportunities
Magnus Krogh Ankarstrand, President of Yara Clean Ammonia, said the agreement is a good example of cross-industry collaboration to develop and promote zero-emission fuel in the form of clean ammonia for the shipping industry. "Building clean ammonia value chains is critical to facilitate the transition to zero emission fuels by enabling the hydrogen economy – not least within trade and distribution where both Yara and Trafigura have leading capabilities. Demand and supply of clean ammonia need to be developed in tandem," he said.
There is a growing consensus that hydrogen-based fuels will ultimately be the shipping fuels of the future, but clear and comprehensive regulation is essential, according to Jose Maria Larocca, Executive Director and Co-Head of Oil Trading for Trafigura.
Ammonia has a number of properties that require "further investigation," according to Wartsila. "It ignites and burns poorly compared to other fuels and is toxic and corrosive, making safe handling and storage important. Burning ammonia could also lead to higher NOx emissions unless controlled either by aftertreatment or by optimising the combustion process," it notes.
Trafigura has co-sponsored the R&D of MAN Energy Solutions’ ammonia-fuelled engine for maritime vessels, has performed in-depth studies of transport fuels with reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and has published a white paper on the need for a global carbon levy for shipping fuels to be introduced by International Maritime Organization.
Oslo-based Yara produces roughly 8.5 million tonnes of ammonia annually and employs a fleet of 11 ammonia carriers, including 5 fully owned ships, and owns 18 marine ammonia terminals with 580 kt of storage capacity – enabling it to produce and deliver ammonia across the globe.
It recently established a new clean ammonia unit to capture growth opportunities in emission-free fuel for shipping and power, carbon-free fertilizer and ammonia for industrial applications.