CSIRO and Mars Australia have developed sustainability strategies applicable to a wide range of agrifood businesses.
CSIRO helps Mars with sustainable food production
A research partnership between CSIRO and Mars Australia has produced a database and information toolkit that will be available to a wide range of food businesses to help improve their sustainability strategies.
11 February 2009 | Updated 12 January 2012
"CSIRO has worked with Mars to produce ‘life cycle analyses’ on a range of Mars's food products that are relevant to almost every major food commodity produced in Australia,” said CSIRO Deputy Chief Executive, Science, Dr Alastair Robertson.
“The development of sustainability indicators for agrifood businesses will make environmental impacts transparent and create drivers for sustainable agriculture and food manufacturing.
“These data provide a critical factual base for shaping environmentally sustainable policy and new business opportunities,” Dr Robertson said. “It also demonstrates the value of integrated multidisciplinary research in dealing with today’s sustainability challenges.”
“CSIRO has worked with Mars to produce ‘life cycle analyses’ on a range of Mars's food products that are relevant to almost every major food commodity produced in Australia,”
said CSIRO Deputy Chief Executive, Science, Dr Alastair Robertson.
CSIRO scientists and Mars sustainability experts are meeting this week with policy makers, suppliers and trade partners to explore how recent collaborative work in areas such as assessing and minimising the carbon and water footprint of Mars’ operations are increasing our scientific understanding of the environmental impacts of the food industry.
Dr Roger Bektash, Director of Scientific Affairs for Mars Australia, said the life cycle analyses for greenhouse gas emissions and water use impacts, conducted jointly by Mars and CSIRO, have provided important information on sustainability options.
“We now have a number of key research findings showing where significant opportunities exist to reduce the impact of our operations,” Dr Bektash said. “Our action now is to transform these into business strategies that will deliver meaningful, tangible benefits.”
Mars and CSIRO have been working on this project for more than a year, with this week’s conference the first step towards incorporating the results into the company’s business model.
Nick Hazell, Research & Development Director for Mars Australia, said that global concern for environmental sustainability needs to be translated into local actions. “We need to ensure we deliver benefits to the business, the community and the environment, and apply our Australian experiences and learning around the world,” Mr Hazell said.
Dr Robertson said CSIRO’s decade-long collaboration with Mars has provided a vital route to applying research to large-scale food industry operations.
“CSIRO has a new focus on research to help industry adapt to climate change and this is a practical example of how we can also deliver immediate impact while applying long-term, multi-disciplinary research to national challenges through our Flagships program,” he said.
National Research Flagships
CSIRO initiated the National Research Flagships to provide science-based solutions in response to Australia’s major research challenges and opportunities. The nine Flagships form multidisciplinary teams with industry and the research community to deliver impact and benefits for Australia.
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