Photo by avemario, Bigstock.com
In May 2018, Mars Australia signed a set of 20-year power-purchase agreements thanks to a new partnership with independent power producer Total Eren. The deal will add a meaningful amount of new solar power to the national grid in Australia at a moment when the majority of the country’s electricity is produced in less planet-friendly ways.
According to Mars, Australia is currently one of the highest emitters of greenhouse gas per capita in the world. This new commitment to solar—generating the equivalent of 100 percent of Mars’ electricity for all eight Australian sites by 2020—takes a bite out of the country’s reliance on fossil fuels, a major contributor to greenhouse gases.
The boost in renewable energy will lower pollution and mark an important step forward in Mars’ Sustainable in a Generation plan. In this plan, Mars hopes to reduce its environmental impacts in line with what science says is necessary to keep the planet healthy, focusing on climate action, water stewardship and land management.
“Mars is thrilled to be flicking the switch to solar energy,” said Barry O’Sullivan, general manager of Petcare Australia, in a press release. “It’s about making a long-term commitment to a sustainable, greener planet that will benefit our customers, our consumers, and the local and global community.”
Building renewable energy in Australia
Mars’ path toward 100 percent renewable energy in Australia will begin with Kiamal Solar Farm, a new farm Total Eren is building near Ouyen, Victoria. By mid-2019, the power generated there will be sold directly to the national grid. Mars Australia has contracted for energy from Kiamal to cover all eight of Mars’ sites. Mars will receive Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) from Total Eren, which are transferable for all of the company’s electricity use in the country.
Mars has also partnered with the power producer to build a second renewables project in New South Wales on Australia’s east coast.