Hershey highlights sustainability achievements

Confectionery giant The Hershey Company continued to make progress in its commitment to responsible sourcing last year, including tracing 90% of its palm oil purchases to the mill level.

In its latest Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report Shared Goodness, Hershey says it also traced 10% of palm oil purchases to the plantation level as of mid-2015. The company’s goal is 100% plantation level traceability by the end of 2016.

Meanwhile, the group sourced 50% of the cocoa it uses globally from certified, sustainable sources. In addition, Hershey added a fifth Learn to Grow programme, which will train an additional 8,000 cocoa farmers on sustainable, modern farming to increase family incomes and improve community wellbeing.

Last year also marked the launch of Hershey’s Nourishing Minds programme, which works to provide children in need with the basic nutrition they need to learn. Through the global programme, Hershey is using expertise in food processing, production and distribution and offering volunteer opportunities for employees.

In addition, the company published the company position on animal welfare, including humane treatment of animals, as well as a pulp and paper policy to help prevent deforestation.

Meanwhile, Hershey became the first US company to adopt a SmartLabel QR-code transparency programme, which it developed with industry peers to give consumers easy access to more information about the foods they eat.

In 2015, the confectionery group formally combined its environmental, health and safety departments into a single department to create greater efficiency, accountability and collaboration between these functions. During the year, Hershey also signed the White House American Business Act on Climate Pledge and announced 2025 environmental goals – from greenhouse gas to water to waste – to replace goals previously set for 2017.

“No trend impacts our industry more than consumers’ changing relationship with food, and this year we addressed consumer expectations better than ever before, starting with our commitment to simpler, more sustainable ingredients and greater transparency,” says John Bilbrey, chairman, president and CEO at The Hershey Company.

“As we look to the future, we are proud of the goals we set and are confident that our efforts will continue to increase in quality and importance, creating value for our business and helping us have a more positive impact on the world.”

Last month, Hershey revealed that it is targeting 100% responsibly sourced sugar by 2020 as it works to drive sustainability throughout its supply chain.

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