The Hershey Company has shared its 2022 Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Report, outlining progress toward its key sustainability priorities and goals.
"Our Shared Goodness Promise," Hershey's global sustainability strategy, guides how the company incorporates responsible and sustainable practices into every aspect of its business to drive long-term business resilience and growth. In 2022, Hershey reaffirmed its most material issues through its inaugural double materiality assessment and an update to the company's most salient human rights issues. The company remains focused on improving cocoa farming communities, ensuring human rights for people across its value chain, reducing its impact on the planet and creating a stronger and more resilient workforce.
On its journey to become a Leading Snacking Powerhouse, Hershey is embedding responsible and sustainable practices into its business transformation strategy to deliver its iconic brands for consumers to enjoy.
"As we continue to act on the most important areas of focus for our business, including responsible sourcing, reducing our carbon footprint, and promoting inclusivity, we are continually reminded that our progress and achievements are made possible by our employees, farmers, partners and other stakeholders who share our commitment to creating a more sustainable and equitable future," said Michele Buck, CEO, The Hershey Company. "We are grateful for their input and support and look forward to continuing this journey together."
Supporting cocoa communities and farmer livelihoods
By 2030, Hershey's Cocoa For Good strategy seeks to invest $500 million to positively impact cocoa farming communities. Hershey recently launched a new Income Accelerator in Côte d'Ivoire, a five-year program based on proven poverty reduction strategies that provides cash transfers and investment in Village Savings and Loan Associations to supplement farmer income and combat poverty. Additional cocoa highlights from 2022 include:
- Increasing sourcing visibility: In 2022, Hershey achieved 77% cocoa sourcing visibility by volume in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana and is on track to reach 100% sourcing visibility by 2025. As part of Hershey's commitment to prevent and eliminate child labor, participating farms are covered by Child Labor Monitoring and Remediation Systems (CLMRS). In 2022, 72% of farmers in Côte d Ivoire and Ghana were covered by CLMRS, on track to reach 100% by 2025.
- Supporting farmer development: Hershey's commitment to improving farmer livelihoods is grounded in empowering and investing in cocoa communities to foster a more equitable and sustainable cocoa supply chain. This includes supporting initiatives that provide financial literacy and agricultural training to farmers. Additionally, farmers in Ghana can contribute to emissions reductions through programs like the World Bank Carbon Fund and the Nsuoekyir Apimanim's Community Resource Management Areas (CREMAs) and earn income as a result.
Acting on climate change
Across its global operations and with the dedication of employees—including its passionate group of Energy Champions—the company is reducing its environmental impact with a goal to achieve a 50% absolute reduction in Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030 against a 2018 baseline. In 2022, the company's Scope 1 and 2 emissions data received limited assurance by EY. Additional environment highlights from 2022 include:
- Using real-time data to monitor utility usage: Hershey's $3 million investment in reporting systems provides real-time utility usage data for electricity, natural gas, and water at each of its facilities globally, aiming to reduce energy intensity by approximately 10% over the next five years. These systems were installed in U.S. facilities in 2022, with the remainder to be installed in international facilities during 2023.
- Leveraging biofuel to reduce carbon intensity: Hershey is taking action to limit and, when possible, remove carbon-intensive fuels from its facilities. Most recently, Hershey's India plant transitioned from using coal to rice husks as biofuel to power production.
- Improving energy and water conservation: Enabled by Hershey's participation in the U.S. EPA's ENERGY STAR Challenge for Industry and the U.S. Department of Energy's Better Buildings, Better Plants program, the company has improved the energy intensity of its manufacturing sites by 6.1% compared to a 2018 baseline. With support from Hershey's Energy and Water Management Steering Committee, the company improved global water intensity by 6% in 2022 with a 14% improvement in water intensity at international facilities (compared to 2021). The company also invested nearly $1.5 million in high-efficiency equipment to reduce well water usage at our company headquarters in Hershey, PA.
Investing in a resilient supply chain and workforce
Hershey employees help the company realize its purpose to Make More Moments of Goodness each and every day. Guided by The Pathways Project—Hershey's five-year diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) framework—the company continues to develop and invest in a pipeline that provides opportunities for all. Most recently, Hershey was named to DiversityInc's 2023 'Top Companies for Diversity' list—underscoring the company's ongoing work to create an inclusive environment that fosters innovation and growth. Additional highlights from 2022 include:
- Launching "Say Hola": A strategic initiative at the company's Hazleton, Pennsylvania plant, "Say Hola" seamlessly integrated both Spanish and English-speaking employees under one roof, equipped with bilingual trainings, managers, and workplace materials. The program improved hiring and retention and reduced recruitment costs. Today, more than 90% of applicants have the desired manufacturing experience, compared to 50% before the program launch.
- Supporting and hiring veterans: As part of Hershey's commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion, veterans are an important part of the company's workforce, bringing specialized perspectives, experiences, and skill sets to the business. In 2023, the company will expand its partnership with three military hiring organizations and aims to increase veteran hiring by 4%. Under the guidance of its Veteran Business Resource Group (employee resource group), Hershey joined the National Veterans Business Development Council and donated to Veterans Outreach of PA, a nonprofit that supports homeless veterans.
The Hershey Company is on the current Candy Industry “Global Top 100 Candy Companies” list. Click here to view the current “Global Top 100” rankings.