The Hershey Company has announced a package of environmental initiatives and commitments, including establishing a new comprehensive environmental policy, signing the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and joining the Science Based Targets initiative. In addition, Hershey says it is launching the Kakum Cocoa Agroforestry Landscape Program, focused on improving the wellbeing of cocoa farmers and their families and strengthening the region’s socio-economic and ecological resilience to climate change.
The announcement was made from the Kakum National Park in Southern Ghana, where Michele Buck, Hershey president and chief executive officer, said: “Hershey has long demonstrated its belief that business has a responsibility to help protect our communities and the planet we all share. Together, these strategic environmental policies and initiatives will further strengthen how Hershey operates, creating a positive social impact from farm to finished product.”
The announcement of new initiatives will elevate the company’s commitment to environmental stewardship and reflects its belief that ‘commercial enterprises must do their part to protect the planet’.
Hershey announced that it is joining the Science Based Targets initiative, a global effort that champions the latest in climate science to set science-based targets as an effective way to help companies transition to a low-carbon economy.
Its latest policies support the company’s sustainability strategy, Our Shared Goodness Promise, and creates a framework that will guide future business decisions that have an impact on the environment. It also aligns with the Paris Climate Agreement and supports the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
United Nations Global Compact
Hershey has also joined the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), a voluntary initiative that encourages businesses from around the world to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies and to report on their implementation.
Kakum Cocoa Agroforestry Landscape Program
As part of the Cocoa Forest Initiative (CFI), Hershey has joined forces with cocoa supplier Ecom, Ghana’s Nature Conservation Research Centre, the Ghana Forestry Commission and the Ghana Cocoa Board to launch an initiative to protect the forest surrounding the Kakum National Park in Southern Ghana and create a more sustainable cocoa agroforestry system. The program is designed to benefit more than 100,000 people in the region and enhance the livelihoods of local cocoa farmers and strengthen the socio-economic and ecological resilience to climate change across this 118,000 sq. hectare landscape.
“Protecting forests and preserving the natural resources of the cocoa-growing areas here in West Africa is good for society and the bottom line,” added Hershey’s Jeff King, senior director of Global Sustainability and Social Impact. “Our commitment to forest protection aligns perfectly with our sourcing partners in the region and we know that by combining resources we will have greater impact on these communities and surrounding landscapes.”