Mars Australia has announced its new power purchase agreement with Victoria’s largest solar farm: Kiamal Solar Farm, located in Western Victoria. This agreement will power all of its Australians operations, including six factories and two offices.
Mars, along with other giant Australian brands such as Woolworthes, ALDI and Bunnings have all committed to 100 per cent renewable energy by 2025, with Mars now leading the way in corporate renewable energy.
“The Mars power purchase deal with Kiamal Solar Farm has seen the company become one of the first major food and drink companies in Australia to be entirely powered by the sun,” said Lindsay Soutar, Reenergise campaign director of Greenpeace Australia Pacific. “By making a major investment in solar power, Mars is driving down greenhouse gas emissions, and, to sweeten the deal, they’re helping to create clean energy jobs and investment for Western Victoria.”
The Kiamal solar farm generates 256MW through its 714 000 solar panels, providing a large portion of jobs in the North Western Victoria region.
This includes the 300 people minimum that were employed during the construction over an 18 month period, and over 10 full-time employees during the operational phases.
Mars commitment to renewable energy not only benefits the local economy, but the wider Australians as well, according to Andrew Bray, National Director for Re-Alliance.
“Solar power generation is becoming an important new industry in the Mallee. When companies like Mars buy the power from these plants, it draws jobs and financial benefits back out to regional Australia,” said Bray.
Despite this significant step towards renewable energy, calls for Mars Australia to address problems related to palm oil and deforestation still linger.
“Switching to 100% renewable electricity in Australia is a big, practical step for Mars Australia to reduce its climate impact, but globally Mars has a lot of work to do, including ending forest destruction in Indonesia in pursuit of palm oil and addressing emissions in its global supply chain. Being a good corporate citizen doesn’t end with renewables,” said Bray.