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Technical Program Lead - Packaging Sustainability


Brentwood, TN, US


A mutually rewarding experience.

Work. Realize your ambitions. And realize there’s more to being in business than just making a profit. That’s the Mars philosophy. And the opportunity we offer every one of our Associates. An opportunity to take what you do and make it mean more for you, for those around you and for the planet.  What you get here is challenging, interesting work. You get the tools you need to do a great job and you get to have the best possible people on your side to help you do it. And at the same time as getting to find ways to do business better today than we did it yesterday and driving a great career, you also get to build a more enlightened business and drive sustainability.

Because it’s never just about a single person, a single project or a single brand. It’s about how you can grab everything that’s within your reach here and use it to pursue mutual, long-term gain. It’s about having ideas. And ideals. Being prepared to risk failure because the promise of success means we’ll all be a little better off. It’s that mix of integrity and ambition that makes Mars such a special place to work. And why working here is always about more than just a job.

About Mars, Incorporated 

Mars is a family-owned business with more than a century of history making diverse products and offering services for people and the pets people love. With almost $35 billion in sales, the company is a global business that produces some of the world’s best-loved brands: M&M’s®, SNICKERS®, TWIX®, MILKY WAY®, DOVE®, PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, WHISKAS®, EXTRA®, ORBIT®, 5™, SKITTLES®, UNCLE BEN’S®, MARS DRINKS and COCOAVIA®. Mars also provides veterinary health services that include BANFIELD® Pet Hospitals, Blue Pearl®, VCA® and Pet Partners™. Headquartered in McLean, VA, Mars operates in more than 80 countries. The Mars Five Principles – Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Efficiency and Freedom – inspire its more than 100,000 Associates to create value for all its partners and deliver growth they are proud of every day.


Technical Program Lead – Packaging Sustainability


This Senior Technical Packaging role within Packaging Research and Development provides critical technical expertise and program leadership.  The North America (NA) Packaging Sustainability Program Lead will be a key part of the journey in delivering the Mars Circular Packaging agenda for the region.  This transformation will shape the way we do business now and into the future, so Mars Petcare and our brands are recognized as leaders in sustainability by pet parents, associates, customers and key stakeholders. 

You will be a natural collaborator, with knowledge of emerging packaging technologies, material research and circular packaging development to inspire teams and management on the framing and execution of packaging sustainability technologies and programs.  You will build and maintain a vibrant internal and external network across different functions in the business, packaging suppliers and external packaging and sustainability experts.


What are we looking for?

  • BS or advanced degree in Packaging, Engineering, Chemistry, Food Science, or related technical field
  • Minimum of 8 years’ experience working on packaging projects, materials, manufacturing or converting

  • Subject matter expert in Packaging systems, Packaging materials and Packaging technologies. Robust experience utilizing scientific principles to solve technical problems. 

  • Knowledge of food packaging fundamentals and application to the product development process

  • Established industry relationships and strong knowledge in the areas of sustainability and polymer science.  

  • Strategic thinking:   

                Ability to understand the business strategy and work within sometimes ambiguous constraints.

                Ability to demonstrate technical strategy development and execution.


What would your Key Responsibilities be?

Sustainability Strategy Leadership

  • Act as a key partner that regional project teams and functions can consult for expertise, guidance and clarity on the program, broader Mars sustainability strategy and how their functions and projects can advance the sustainability agenda
  • Support the glidepath development process in partnership with the cross-functional working group, creating critical phased 5-year plans that are funded and built into the Value Creation Plans
  • Act as a technical leader for key elements of the work, accountable for specific projects and pilots to deliver “designed for circularity”  in addition to the broader coordination responsibility
  • Bring in external opportunities and knowledge to strengthen the program, keeping up to speed with key developments as well as representing Mars in external regional forums, working groups and conferences as relevant
  • Responsible for the process to identify and implement opportunities for material reduction and recycled content for non-food contact plastic films, working close with suppliers.
  • Support the development and deployment of a communications strategy for consumer, customers and associates in conjunction with Corporate Affairs by supplying key technical inputs where necessary. 
  • Enable the driving of broad adoption, understanding and technical advocacy of the strategy across the organization
  • Evolve strategy based on latest research and insights aligned to the global strategy


Organization and Ways of Working

  • Partner with Global innovation and sustainability teams.  Regional brands teams and cross-functional experts to develop and implement the programs which deliver against the Packaging Sustainability strategy for the NA Region.
  • Collaborate with local and global teams and key global stakeholders in deploying the NA Packaging sustainability strategy, communications and execution plans


Operation Ownership

  • Deliver competitive environment intelligence regarding claims, activations and commitment on sustainability topics across packaging type and represent Mars in external regional forums, working groups and conferences as relevant
  • Support the technical develop of standardized sustainability targets which are included in all Global and local Innovation and Renovation Projects in North America.
  • Provides subject matter expert leadership in PackagingApply robust material science principles for establishing material specification and fit for use analysis across the portfolio.
  • Establish, develop and champion critical partnerships with external networks and provide perspective of industry connections to internal teams to advance technical bench strength.  Work with external partners and other Mars regions or segments to develop and leverage strategic suppliers and consulting networks (including Universities) to effectively bring new ideas to life. Share and collaborate pro-actively within the PNA Packaging team and across the globe.
  • Collaborate closely within the platform teams, Petcare R&D, cross-functional teams and other Mars packaging teams.
  • Coach, mentor and develop associates across the packaging team in the technologies, external developments and critical knowledge areas within the sustainability landscape. 
  • Provide key technical guidance for qualification of new technologies, assessment of new materials or suppliers, define methods of establishing and adhering to quality programs and partners with peer R&D functions to deliver total quality systems


What can you expect from Mars?

  • The opportunity to learn, develop and take charge of your own career.
  • An industry competitive salary and benefits package. 
  • To be respected and valued.
  • The Five Principles at the center of every decision
  • The opportunity to work cross functionally, add value and impact a better world for generations to come.





Mars is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. If you need assistance or an accommodation during the application process because of a disability, it is available upon request. The company is pleased to provide such assistance, and no applicant will be penalized as a result of such a request.


Nearest Major Market: Nashville

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