Hershey said its ambitious new goals to reduce global emissions are in line with the global best practice of the Paris Climate Agreement, to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C.
Hershey has already committed to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) in 2019, agreeing to audit its operations and develop targets to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in line with the best available climate science.
As a result of that process, Hershey has announced its goal to reduce its absolute Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by more than 50% and its absolute Scope 3 emissions by 25% by 2030, compared to a 2018 baseline.
The company is also committing to end deforestation across its supply chain by 2030 with a new company-wide deforestation policy that will apply to all suppliers across its raw material supply chains, though the company said it will prioritise achieving independent verification of compliance with this policy for the commodities in its supply chain that present the greatest risk of contributing to deforestation: cocoa, palm oil, pulp & paper (packaging), and soy.
Cocoa and Forests Initiatives
Hershey is a founding member of the Cocoa and Forests Initiatives in partnership with the governments of Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana and one of the world's leading cocoa and chocolate companies.
The company said it also remains committed to reforestation efforts in these communities. Between 2013 and 2019, Hershey distributed more than 7.4 million cocoa trees and 921,000 shade trees to promote biodiversity, food security and income diversification.
"Climate change is one of the most urgent threats to our planet that we face today. In order to deliver on our purpose to make more moments of goodness, we must operate with sustainability at the forefront and commit to doing our part to address climate change," said Michele Buck, Hershey CEO. "We will continue to use our scale and apply the full force of our business to reduce our greenhouse emissions and drive climate action forward."
In 2015, the company committed to reduce its packaging weight by 25 million pounds by 2025 and has successfully delivered on that promise five years ahead of schedule, it claims. Hershey is also targeting 100% of its plastic packaging to be recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2030.
"These environmental commitments are critical to the long-term sustainability of our business," said Jeff King, Senior Director of Global Sustainability and Social Impact. "The work is interconnected across our business and requires us to bring together all efforts across the company, from manufacturing, energy buying and packaging to make it work seamlessly to reach our goals."