Mars Wrigley’s French ice cream plant switches to 100% renewable energy in push towards net zero

FRANCE – An ice cream plant owned by American multinational confectionery company Mars Wrigley is set to switch to be 100% powered by renewable energy in an effort to cut down its carbon footprint. 

In a statement, Mars Wrigley noted that the ice cream plant in Steinbourg, France will become the first of its factories to achieve such a milestone even as it pushes towards a 2050 net-zero goal.  

With the switch, the plant’s ice cream production will not use any energy from fossil fuels, with all the electricity supplying the factory coming from sources such as wind, hydro and solar. 

Forecast to take effect this summer, the employee-led initiative which involved the installation of an electric boiler is expected to save 600 tonnes of CO a year 

Florence Mouls – vice president for supply at Mars Wrigley Europe, CIS & Turkey – said: “The world we want tomorrow hinges upon the responsibility of businesses to make changes today, which is why we’re pioneering projects such as the first 100% renewable energy factory in the Mars Group.   

“This is a key milestone for both Mars Wrigley in Europe, and Mars, Incorporated as we continue to make steady progress towards achieving net zero throughout our value chain by 2050.”   

The transition to 100% green electricity is the latest in a series of steps in Mars Wrigley’s energy transition journey which began in 2013.  

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Since then, the Steinbourg factory has reduced gas consumption by up to 50% due to energy recovery via a heat pump and also reduced water and power consumption thanks to the optimisation of chocolate brewing time.  

The transition to renewable energy formed part of the ‘Sustainable In a Generation’ plan set up by Mars to achieve its goal of net zero emissions throughout its value chain by 2050. 

 This includes the confectioner’s all direct and indirect emissions in the value chain, including those created by suppliers. 

Mars Wigley’s transition follows a report by EIT Food – one of eight communities to boost innovation and entrepreneurship across Europe – which revealed that a third of the European public is concerned about the environmental impact of the food system. 

The report further noted that while 76% of Europeans say they are motivated to live a sustainable life, only 51% actually take this into account when making food choices. 

“The food system needs to be transformed if we are to succeed in ensuring healthy and sustainable food for all,” said Dr Anna Macready, associate professor at the University of Reading.  

“We cannot do this without putting consumers at the heart of this transformation, so they can have confidence the food they eat is good for them and for the planet.” 

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