Mars Inc., McLean, Va., has been named Best Private Company by Ethical Corp. Responsible Business Awards 2013. The award recognizes a commitment to responsible business practices and recognizes global leaders in corporate sustainability. The Best Private Company category acknowledges privately-held companies that have best demonstrated dedication to embedding sustainable business across their operations.

Accepting the award for Mars, Barry Parkin, chief sustainability officer, says: “We’re delighted to receive this award from Ethical Corp. We feel strongly that we have a responsibility to help solve challenges shared by our business and society. As a private, family-owned business, we have the freedom to make long-term choices and investments to help create lasting, mutual benefits for our entire value chain. We are proud of the progress and impact we have made on this journey, although we know we still have much work to do.”

Mars was given special recognition both for its Sustainable in a Generation program and its industry-leading work in the field of cocoa sustainability:

  • The Sustainable Cocoa Initiative, a program that seeks to enable farmers to create sustainable businesses, by ensuring the future of the cocoa supply chain while increasing incomes and securing livelihoods for future cocoa farmers.
  • Progress made by Mars toward making its operations “Sustainable in a Generation” by eliminating fossil fuel energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, minimizing its impact on water quality and availability, and mitigating the impacts of waste by 2040.
  • The impact of sequencing and annotating the cocoa genome and the work conducted by Mars with the African Orphan Crops consortium.

The judging panel that recognized Mars’ achievements reflected the diversity of the corporate sustainability field, including representatives from Greenpeace, The Economist, Marks & Spencer and Jaguar Land Rover. Mars was among a strong field of peers for the Best Private Company award, including Tetra Pak, SC Johnson, Alliance Boots, National Commercial Bank and New Balance.

For its sustainability efforts, Mars Chocolate North America was named “Green Manufacturer of the Year” in 2011 by Candy Industry magazine. In 2010, Mars also won the U.S. Secretary of State’s 2010 Award for Corporate Excellence for its work in cocoa sustainability and efforts to improve economic development in the cocoa-growing region of Ghana.