New wind farm investment will ensure enough renewable energy to provide for all Mars hospital operations in the US following the expansion of Mars Veterinary Health
Mars, Incorporated is announcing a new power-purchase agreement with Apex Clean Energy to provide renewable energy that will cover more than 100 per cent of the electricity needed for its 2,000 veterinary hospitals in the US This allows Mars to continue to meet its sustainability goal to source 100 per cent renewable electricity in the US, as it has since 2015.
This agreement is designed to address the company’s significant business growth, including the expansion of Mars Veterinary Health.
The company estimates nearly 11 million new pets were welcomed to US homes in 2020, an unprecedented surge largely driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. With the average vet visit using enough electricity to charge more than 600 smartphones, this power-purchase agreement will allow for more sustainable pet ownership in the US and model greener business growth as the economy recovers from the effects of the pandemic.
Barry Parkin, Chief Procurement and Sustainability Officer at Mars, said: “As our business in the US continues to grow, Mars is committed to embedding sustainable solutions throughout our operations. And, as the world looks to rebuild from the devastating effects of the pandemic, it will be critical for businesses to lead. This partnership is further evidence that we are moving full steam toward our emissions targets and driving climate action throughout our extended value chain.”
The partnership between Mars and Apex, facilitated by Commodity Risk Solution, includes Mars suppliers BHJ and Silgan Containers and will enable the construction of a new 121.26 MW wind farm in Ford County, IL, set for completion by the end of 2021. The Ford Ridge Wind facility is jointly owned by Apex, with funds managed by Ares Management Corporation’s Infrastructure and Power strategy.
Together with an existing wind farm in Texas, Ford Ridge will generate enough power for the entire Mars confectionery, food, and pet care businesses in the US This includes all Banfield Pet Hospital, BluePearl, and VCA veterinary hospitals, and more than 70 Antech Diagnostics laboratories.
Doug Drew, President, Mars Veterinary Health North America, said: “It’s imperative to Mars Veterinary Health that we take steps now to ensure a better future for people, pets, and the planet. This is a clear expectation from our clients and Associates. Being part of Mars allows us to take immediate climate action and make an impact beyond the walls of our veterinary hospitals. Ensuring that all of our hospitals are powered by renewable electricity is a significant step, with more to come.”
The announcement signifies important progress by the company towards its goal of using renewable energy in 100% of its direct operations by 2040. When the project is completed, the US will be one of eleven countries where Mars is already purchasing or using renewable electricity for its entire operations, covering more than 50 per cent of its global electricity needs. Ford Ridge will add to the existing wind power Mars sources from the Mesquite Creek Wind Farm in Lamesa, TX, which has powered the remainder of the company’s US operations since 2015.
Mark Goodwin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Apex Clean Energy, said: “Ford Ridge Wind represents monumental progress: not only does it bring Mars a significant step closer to achieving its renewable energy targets; it also brings their suppliers along with on the journey to net-zero.
Mars, BHJ, and Silgan Containers are signalling to the market and to consumers that sustainability is a priority—and that supply chain partners can work collectively to bring new renewable energy online, generating meaningful environmental and economic benefits.”