In 2018, Mars Associate Tina Garcia did something she’d wanted to do for years — go on a Mars Ambassador Program (MAP) assignment. Her task: travel to Indonesia to help rehab a coral reef. Traditional fish farming there uses dynamite to literally blow fish out of the water, destroying reefs in the process. Tina’s job was to lay the groundwork — via iron “reef star” structures — for a new coral reef to start growing.
“Someone at Mars had this amazing vision to send Associates all over the world on assignments to make a true, sustainable difference in the communities where we work. MAP is an integral part of the company and it’s now a part of me, too,” said Tina. “The long-term commitment it represents, giving Mars — and those of us who work here—the ability to make an impact for people, pets and the planet…it changed me.”
MAP is a signature Mars program that helps bring to life our Purpose: The world we want tomorrow starts with how we do business today. Here’s how MAP works: Each year, Mars Associates apply for individual and group MAP assignments that pair them with nonprofit partner organizations in key countries around the world. These MAP ambassadors step away from their regular jobs for two to six weeks, using their expertise to make a positive difference in major social and environmental issues of critical importance to Mars and partner organizations.
Assignments have included everything from helping build animal shelters to improving rice, cocoa and mint farming practices, to helping organizations with inclusion and diversity strategies.
And ambassadors tell us MAP will change your perspective — and your life. “MAP truly is a life-changing experience which helps broaden your perspective and better understand the complexity of global challenges we as company, but also as global society, are facing. It’s also a great chance to meet Martians from all around the world, share the experience, exchange the knowledge, know-how, inspire and get inspired,” says Justyna Zielska, Mars Wrigley Poland. “During the assignment, I understood how unique Mars is with The Five Principles and the way they lead us, everywhere in the world. Each person I met during the assignment brought so much to my personal and professional life. It’s shown me how similar we all really are, despite our differences.”
Since MAP’s start in 2008, our ambassadors have made a world of difference for people, pets and our planet!
Follow Mars Global on Instagram to meet MAP ambassadors and see where their travels* have taken them!
*In 2021, MAP assignments will be virtual, but we look forward to having our ambassadors back on the road soon!