Earlier this month, the Hershey Company released its first corporate social responsibility report, a 62-page online document that outlines the company’s CSR priorities and establishes measurable goals for future progress.
Specifically, Hershey groups the company’s priorities and programs into four areas –Marketplace, Environment, Workplace and Community –and here are a few recent highlights regarding environmental stewardship. The company has:
- decreased energy consumption by nearly 10 percent in its manufacturing and distribution facilities since 2008.
- reduced fuel consumption in its transport operations in 2009 by 1.3 million gallons of diesel fuel. This decreased Hershey’s CO2 emissions by 5,216 metric tons –and resulted in a savings o $6.2 million.
- adopted a sustainable packaging strategy. To illustrate the potential of this strategy, Hershey says that over the past four years, it has reduced the overall weight of its recyclable 22-ounce Hershey’s Syrup bottles by 7.6 percent through a redesign of the bottle cap and removing material from the body of the bottle. These changes in the weight of a single product container eliminated the need for 12.5 metric tons of high-density polyethylene in 2009 alone.
- enhanced water resource management. For instance, improvements at the Hershey’s Stuarts Draft plant in Virginia have resulted in a reduced flow of 15,000 gallons (more than 56,000 liters) per day and eliminated the need for a $1.5-million wastewater treatment plant upgrade.
The CSR report also stresses Hershey’s commitment to responsible sourcing. From the report:
We are focused on building more sustainable and responsible supply chains that benefit the environment, producers, growers, workers and other stakeholders. At the same time, we expect all participants in the supply chain to meet our stringent criteria as a world-class manufacturer and our customers’ and consumers’ demands for safe, high-quality products and ethical operations.
In partnership with the World Cocoa Foundation and others in the industry, Hershey has taken a proactive leadership role in promoting sustainable cocoa farming practices and increasing incomes for cocoa farming families.
“Our belief in the importance of CSR dates to the founding of our company more than 100 years ago,” David J. West, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Hershey Company, said. “Today, CSR is an integral part of our global business strategy. Our CSR efforts stretch from our headquarters and manufacturing facilities in Hershey, Pennsylvania, to our operations in countries such as Mexico and India, to the cocoa farming villages of West Africa. While we are proud of our accomplishments, including the contributions we make to children in need, we understand that much remains to be done.”
Hershey’s complete 62-page CSR report is available here.