Anton Vincent Creates Better Business Today for the World We Want Tomorrow at Mars
As a company that has been proudly family-owned for more than 100 years, the freedom to think in generations and not quarters is what enables us to make the greatest positive impact. At Mars, we’re committed to doing business in a way that contributes to the people, environment and ecosystems in which we operate. While we have always been a principles-led business, in 2019 Mars articulated its purpose externally: “The world we want tomorrow starts with how we do business today.”
As President of Mars Wrigley North America, this purpose and The Five Principles of Mars – Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Efficiency and Freedom – create organizational clarity. Growing up in Jackson, Mississippi, my parents taught me and my four brothers some core truths: work hard, leave things better than you found them, and give back. My personal principles and those of Mars align in a powerful way and act as my North Star when leading our business and our Associates.
Our commitment to sustainability
Mars is committed to sustainable business. Through our Sustainable in a Generation (SiG) Plan, we committed to investing $1 billion to improve the world in three key areas – Healthy Planet, Thriving People and Nourishing Wellbeing. This is in an effort to help progress the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. Our SiG plan features ambitious targets informed by science and rooted in The Five Principles.
I saw this focus on sustainability come to life during United Nations General Assembly week in New York in September 2019. Mars launched our #PledgeforPlanet initiative, which created awareness around the issue of climate action and amplified the everyday steps each of us can take to help keep our planet below the 1.5ºC increase threshold. I was so inspired by our Associates who volunteered their time and made their own personal commitments, and by the youth who gathered in New York City and around the world to do their part to help combat the effects of climate change. Personally, I pledged to say “yes” to doing a better job of refilling and reusing my water bottles and being more conscious of saving energy at home. As I lead Mars Wrigley into this new decade, sustainable business will stay top of mind and help guide my business decisions as we continue to work hard toward our global commitments.
Our commitment to inclusion and diversity
Yes, at Mars we say inclusion and diversity – and there’s a reason for that. We focus on inclusion as our first priority because we believe that it unlocks true, sustainable diversity. When we truly appreciate and celebrate our differences, we will realize the full value that diversity brings. And we all know that diverse businesses perform better. For example, as one of the world’s leading advertisers, we have a responsibility to shape the messages that we are consciously and unconsciously sending to ensure they’re inclusive and representative of our consumers. At Mars, we’ve already started to hold up that mirror through our work with the United Nation’s Unstereotype Alliance and the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media.
Internally, we are championing inclusion and diversity through our Associate Resource Groups, who lead the charge helping educate and engage our Associate population to broaden our perspectives. We focus on organizing diverse hiring panels – both candidates and assessors – to ensure that all points of view and opinions have the opportunity to be heard.
Our Commitment to our Associates
We can’t successfully shape the world we want tomorrow if we don’t invest in and celebrate the people helping our business run today – our Associates. When I first arrived at Mars Wrigley, I toured more than 15 manufacturing sites and offices throughout North America and I was extremely energized by the pride our 7,000 Associates have in our products, company and their communities. Whether our Associates were creating the highest quality SNICKERS® bar or spending the day with their team to clean up the community playground, each of these instances help Mars Wrigley create moments that make the world smile. As a leader, it drove home the responsibility I have to ensure we are giving back to our people. At Mars, we encourage ideas from across the entire organization and inspire one another to innovate, take risks and approach challenges in new ways.
We invest in the training and development of our Associates through in-person seminars and online courses via our own Mars University. I’ve found it unique to Mars that we encourage our Associates to follow their passions and develop their breadth across the company, whether that’s in a new role, function or even another business segment. We recognize the need to nurture and develop our Associates’ talents and for people to grow and thrive within the company. To do this, we must ensure that they feel heard, challenged and respected.
At Mars, we have our eyes on the future. We’ve committed our- selves to do business today in a way that holds us accountable for the future. Through a steadfast focus on doing better business with our people, our customers and our consumers, we know we can play a role in inspiring the world we all want tomorrow.
By Anton Vincent