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FAQs

Want to know more about Sheba Hope Reef??

Explore our FAQs below.

Where is Hope Reef?

Hope Reef is off the coast of Sulawesi in Indonesia. It sits at the heart of the world’s Coral Triangle in the Spermonde Archipelago.

Why are Mars and the SHEBA team restoring coral reefs?

Mars is the parent company of the SHEBA brand, meaning we are working as one to restore coral reefs.

If the world does nothing, 90% of coral reefs will be destroyed by 2043. This threatens 25% of the world’s marine life and will negatively affect up to 500 million people. This has an impact on our consumers, our employees, our suppliers and our business. As a multinational company, we have a duty to act.

What experience does Mars have in reef restoration?

Mars has worked on coral reef restoration for the past 13 years, investing more than $10m in research, builds and community engagement. More than 285,000 coral fragments and 19,000 reef stars have already been installed, all using locally sourced materials. Coral reef restoration initiatives at Mars are overseen by Mars’ Chief Marine Scientist, Professor David Smith.

We want to have a positive impact on future ocean health and therefore are focused on restoring the most biodiverse and critically endangered marine ecosystems.

How big is the reef restoration plan? Where is Mars building reefs?

By the end of 2029, we plan to restore an area measuring more than 185,000 square metres (roughly the size of 148 Olympic swimming pools) across the world.

The key locations are Indonesia, Australia, Mexico, the Seychelles and the US Virgin Islands.

Why have you chosen the locations for the reef restoration?

The majority of our effort is focused on locations that the science tells us are least likely to be affected by climate change, but are ecologically extremely important. Other locations have been selected based on their ecological importance and the need for restoration solutions that also increase coral reef climate resilience.

How does the YouTube channel raise money for reef restoration?

We've partnered with Google to create a branded, monetised YouTube channel with a difference.

Every time any video on the channel is viewed, the ad revenue generated is donated to the not-for-profit organisation, The Nature Conservancy, to support coral restoration.

The more views and engagement the channel gets, the more money will be raised!

How will the money raised from the YouTube channel be spent?

The not-for-profit organisation, The Nature Conservancy, will use the money to create more coral restoration projects across the world.

Which other partners are Mars working with on coral reef restoration or sustainable fish sourcing?

  • The Nature Conservancy
  • National Geographic
  • WWF
  • MSC
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch
  • ASC
  • ICRI
  • IUCN

Plus, numerous research and academic institutions including Universitas Hasanuddin, Indonesia.

See our Partners page for more information.

What are you asking people to do?

Watch and share videos from the channel that grows coral! You can read more about this under ‘How does the YouTube channel raise money for reef restoration?’

Is the fish used in SHEBA® meals and products sourced sustainably?

We’re proud to report that, by the end of 2020, 81% of the fish used in Mars petfood recipes around the world came from sustainable sources aligned with our guidelines and we'll keep working towards 100% sustainably sourced fish.

Mars Petcare aims to source from fisheries that are managed to maintain the diversity of the fish ecosystem, and is committed to not sourcing fish that are endangered according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.

Mars Petcare also seeks to minimise its use of fish ingredients that are appropriate for human consumption where possible, with the objective of reducing pressure on human food supply and ecosystems.

Are your ingredients sustainably sourced?

We’re working towards 100% of the fish used in our products to be from sustainable sources. See the question below for what to look out for on the packs.

We’re also dedicated to making sure that our supply chains are sustainable so we can benefit our planet, its people and its resources.

We are focusing on the key ingredients and, in addition to the work on fish, we are addressing the deforestation issues linked to beef, soy and paper.

We are working to reduce the climate footprint of materials used in our supply chain.

What should I look out for on the pack to know if the fish in the SHEBA® product is sustainable?

In the US, look out for food and products listed 'with sustainable tuna'. In Europe, you’ll see the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) blue stamp of approval on the meals and products using 100% sustainably sourced fish. We’re working hard for 100% of our products to be sustainably sourced, we’ll let you know as soon as we’ve achieved our goal. Watch out for further communication in stores and online.

Is the packaging used across SHEBA® products recyclable?

We know there’s a lot more for us to do in this space and we have a plan to get us there. As Mars, we’ve committed to guaranteeing that all of our packaging will be recyclable by 2025. This includes all our SHEBA® packaging.

All of our SHEBA® aluminum trays, cans, and cardboard sleeves are commonly recycled in key markets.

We’re working on our bag and pouch materials globally, designing them for recyclability.

Currently, 98% of all paper used in our packaging is from recycled and/or certified virgin fibres.

We’re removing plastic flow wraps (secondary packaging) from our SHEBA® and PERFECT FITTM  mini pouches and will be moving to recyclable paper in 2021. This will save around 100 tons of virgin plastic per year.

In 2020, we launched the first reusable pet food packaging in our pilot with our Perfect Fit brand and Loop in France.

We’re taking action now to reduce the amount of plastic we use to boost our use of recycled content and to advocate for stronger waste management systems at scale around the world.

What is Mars doing to make sure its packaging is recyclable?

When it comes to Mars Petcare, all of our SHEBA® aluminum trays, cans and cardboard sleeves are commonly recycled in key markets. Please see the question above for further details.

Why reef restoration? Aren’t climate change and human behaviour the real issues?

We know this is only part of the solution but coral reefs are dying now and we can help to restore them.

We can keep coral and fishing habitats alive and help local island communities while the world tackles climate change. More coral today, more fish tomorrow.

Our work is not stopping us from playing our part to combat climate change. As a company, we’ve set out our ambitious aims in our $1bn Sustainable in a Generation Plan.

What is Mars doing to reduce its carbon footprint?

By 2025, we’ve set a target to reduce total greenhouse gas emissions across the business by 27%. This is the threshold outlined in The Paris Agreement, and is guided by what science tells us must change to prevent the planet from warming beyond two degrees.

In addition, Mars has elected to be a ‘Business Avenger’ for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 14, ‘Life Below Water’. Through this commitment, it will work with the UN and others to boost innovation and collaboration on Goal 14, which focuses on conserving using the oceans, seas and marine resources sustainably. Unfortunately, this topic hasn’t always been a top priority of the global community and there are many environmental and social challenges to overcome. This has to change, which is why Mars is putting the full weight of one of its most loved brands behind this critical issue and working hard to build a more sustainable future.

To help tackle our GHG emissions, we’re working to improve how food is produced throughout our extended supply chain.

We’re delighted to be recognised as one of the leading companies working towards a more sustainable future. We’ve been included in the ‘A List’ of environmental non-profit, CDP Forest, which showcases companies leading on environmental transparency and action.

We’re also proud to come second out of 350 companies in the Forest 500 2020 annual report, which ranks influential companies according to their environmental impact.

Is this just a marketing stunt? Will it actually do any good?

We’ve made a 10-year commitment to Sheba Hope Grows and this is just the beginning.

The coral restoration at Hope Reef has already changed significantly since we started work in 2019. Colour and fish are returning to the sea bed.

Our work is also set to help local island communities in Bontasua and Badi who rely on fishing to eat, to generate income and to continue cultural fishing traditions.

Your impact is so small compared to the vastness of the problem – why bother?

We know we won’t be able to save the world’s global reefs on our own. However, we have a restoration method that works – and is already making a real difference. Life is returning to the seafloor and the people in the surrounding areas are benefitting.

We share our restoration techniques with practitioners around the world. Several of these use our approach on their own reefs, forming a restoration movement with a big impact. The reefs we restore will also help regenerate adjacent reefs by providing the critical coral larvae needed for the new reef habitat to grow.

And this is just the beginning. We hope our work sparks a movement. By make sure as many people as possible are aware of the issue, we hope they will also take action so we can work together to restore our coral reefs to their former glory.

What impact are you making on the island community next to the reef?

We were invited to help restore the reefs in the Spermonde Archipelago, specifically the islands of Badi and Bontosua. Hope Reef is a unique collaboration with the Bontosua island community. By taking a participatory approach and appointing community ambassadors representing key social groups (e.g. youth, women, fishermen) we make sure that activities focus on achieving sustainable livelihoods and drive behavioural change.

We take a supply-chain approach to reef restoration with each link in the chain providing an opportunity for the local community to be directly involved. There are multiple entry points which increases skills required and diversifies and expands participation. Consequently large numbers of the local community are involved, as many as 40 people for each restoration event.

The act of restoration also increases the diversity and number of important fish species that reside around the island and provides other key services such as coastal protection.

As part of this, we provide funding for projects aimed at delivering sustainable ‘reef-based’ livelihoods, supporting community cohesion and increasing the level of understanding and participation in reef restoration itself.

Some examples include:

  • Upgrading of important community areas used to compete (sports), perform (act, dance) and celebrate
  • Supporting schools with educational trips on and in the water to learn about the importance of coral reefs (snorkelling, glass-bottomed boat tours)
  • Supporting local women setting up businesses (e.g. handicraft) and facilitate trade in Makassar

Do cats really have to eat fish?

Fish is an important ingredient for healthy, nutritious and high-quality cat food. Fish oil increases digestibility, promotes healthy joints and fur and helps offset the effects of ageing.

Why do you use plastic ties in reef restoration? Isn’t that creating more of a problem?

We use plastic cable ties because they’re durable, strong, widely-used and don’t degrade in salt water. At the moment, plastic is the only available solution but we are working on finding alternatives that are biodegradable.

We are actively trialling several different versions of biodegradable ties already on the market and are also investigating emerging materials and technologies. We make sure that all plastic used is minimalised and any surplus, e.g. offcuts, is recycled through local community initiatives.

Your campaign video “The Film that Grows Coral” shows Hope Reef as a thriving reef in CGI but this is not what it looks like in real life – why is that?

We created the “Film that Grows Coral” to inspire and motivate people around the world and to drive awareness of what is possible if we all come together to join the movement to restore our coral reefs. While originally we planned send specialized underwater film crews to the reef to capture footage, COVID prevented us from doing so. To move forward with launch and create a film that was truly emotive and engaging, we used CGI for the underwater scenes while local film crews were able to capture drone footage for us to showcase the real life beauty of H-O-P-E from above. We know from the team onsite that coral cover is already at 55% and vital species such as sharks and turtles are returning. The combined use of CGI and real footage lets us show the potential of the coral reef restoration process and inspire consumers to act.