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M&Ms’s New Ad Is Selling Renewable Energy And Wind Power

The new “Fans of Wind” campaign aims to tie the candy brand more directly to its commitment to fighting climate change.

Last year, Mars, the world’s biggest chocolate maker and the corporate home to brands like M&Ms, Twix, and Snickers, pledged $1 billion to fight climate change through investments in renewable energy, sustainable food sourcing, and more. Beyond the two wind farms it currently operates in Scotland and Texas, the company also promised to add wind and solar farms to another nine countries by 2018 and cut greenhouse gas emissions by 27% by 2025, and 67% by 2050. Now, a couple of the company’s most popular mascots are getting in on it.

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This week, just ahead of Climate Week, Mars’s M&Ms launched a new consumer campaign called “Fans of Wind” to spread the word and raise awareness around fighting climate change–and what the company itself is doing to fight it. M&Ms says it’s the first major food business to source all of its electricity for its U.S. operations from renewable sources, with wind farms in Mesquite Creek, Texas, and Moy, Scotland, that source enough wind power needed to make all of the M&M’s in the world. In 2016, M&Ms purchased enough wind energy to power the annual electricity use of 70,300 U.S. households. A wind turbine spinning for one second produces sufficient energy to make eight packs of plain or peanut M&Ms.

Berta de Pablos-Barbier, president of Mars Wrigley Confectionery U.S., says the new campaign is about showing that if a seemingly small piece of chocolate can make a difference in counteracting climate change, then each person has the power to make a difference. “We are making clear our commitment to sustainable energy,” Pablos-Barbier says. “We are leveraging our unique position as one of the world’s largest privately held, family-owned businesses, plus the power of our iconic brands like M&M’s, to do good for our consumers and for the planet.”

And before you can say “Hardcut: Cheetos,” it’s worth noting that the $1 billion investment and the wind farm energy sourcing are a significant, multi-year, financial investment. It’s one that, even though not perfect, is still an important step in what should be a wider commitment among global corporations to making the world’s energy consumption more sustainable.

The campaign site includes information on Mars’s commitment to renewable wind energy, details on the company’s broader climate change targets to reduce its total greenhouse gas emissions, information on how wind energy works, background on its wind projects, and more.

“Given the increasing urgency around climate change, it’s an issue everyone, even Red and Yellow, needs to get behind,” Pablos-Barbier says. “We believe the more consumers engage in dialogue about addressing climate change, renewable energy, and a healthy planet, the more the world will change.”

About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity. He lives in Toronto.

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