Goodness in Action: How Hershey Is Working Toward a More Resilient and Sustainable Future

Goodness in Action: How Hershey Is Working Toward a More Resilient and Sustainable Future

Our 2023 ESG Report highlights progress and challenges as we integrate sustainability further into our business operations.

NORTHAMPTON, MA / ACCESSWIRE / June 24, 2024 / The Hershey Company


By Leigh Horner, Chief Sustainability Officer

Key Takeaways:

  • ESG (environmental, social, and governance) initiatives matter to our stakeholders because they are business imperatives
  • Building a more resilient cocoa supply chain remains Hershey’s top sustainability priority
  • Hershey is refreshing its sustainability strategy in 2024 as we plan how to drive our business forward and create the next phase of impact across our material issues

ESG means different things to different people. But one thing I find to be true regardless of how you interpret that acronym is that when I talk to colleagues, consumers, customers and partners about the work we are doing, it matters.

It matters that farms have healthy soil and tree cover because our products rely on ingredients that are grown around the world, and our supply chains are dependent on the balance of those ecosystems. It matters that we are operating our facilities efficiently, reducing our energy emissions, water footprint and material waste. It matters that the people who work for and with us are treated with respect and integrity. These are business imperatives, and they’re what our consumers expect from us.

When you are in the business of making more moments of goodness, you also want those moments to feel good. In our 2023 ESG Report, we share what we’ve accomplished over the last year to make our business more resilient and sustainable and the challenges that we’ve encountered along the way.

Creating a more resilient supply chain

Cocoa continues to be our highest priority as it is central to our iconic chocolate brands. Unprecedented pricing volatility and underlying systemic issues affecting the cocoa ecosystem underscore that a resilient supply chain is critical to our business and those that work within it. Through our Cocoa For Good strategy, we are working to create a supply chain where farmers, and their children and families, can prosper. Over the last year, we laid the groundwork for a new approach to building long-term partnerships with farmers where they can professionalize and thrive. As of December 2023, we have invested 51% of our $500 million commitment.

In 2023, we launched the Hershey Income Accelerator Program which aims to improve farmers’ livelihoods and reduce poverty in cocoa-growing communities. In its first year, we reached 1,850 farmers and paid our first wave of cash transfers to farming households. And we continue ambitious initiatives to build schools in rural farming communities in Côte d’Ivoire.

Progress on our key priorities

We continued progress in reducing Hershey’s emissions with a keen business focus on our owned emissions. We also expanded efforts to reduce emissions in our value chain while advancing nature-based projects to combat climate change. We set water usage reduction targets for priority sites where water is most scarce. Our run of success in reducing packaging waste sent to landfills continued in 2023, as we phased out more than 1.7 million pounds of material by eliminating, redesigning and reducing packaging.

We continue to operate with high integrity and build an inclusive workforce. We are proud of recognitions like being certified as a Great Place to Work® in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Brazil, India and Malaysia, named as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere, and most recently taking the #1 spot on Fair360’s top companies for diversity in 2024.

Meeting the moments ahead

In 2024, we are refreshing our sustainability strategy in anticipation of several of our commitments maturing in the next year. We will continue to implement our Cocoa For Good strategy, building longer-term relationships with cocoa farmers, families and communities. This, in turn, helps give us a deeper understanding of how to build a more economically resilient supply chain. We are scaling our work to meet our emissions targets and updating our sustainable packaging strategy to reduce materials and improve circularity.

It’s an exciting time to be at Hershey as our business grows and we continue on our journey to become a Leading Snacking Powerhouse. As we transform our business and the world changes around us, the work detailed in our ESG Report has never mattered more to our business and consumers. We’re proud of the way we do business. It’s Goodness in Action.

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Contact Info:
Spokesperson: The Hershey Company

SOURCE: The Hershey Company

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