Hershey ramps up its ESG priorities

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

Hershey's Cocoa For Good Strategy aims to improve farmer livelihoods in cocoa-growing communities. Pic: Hershey Company
Hershey's Cocoa For Good Strategy aims to improve farmer livelihoods in cocoa-growing communities. Pic: Hershey Company

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The Hershey Company’s evolution from sustainability to integrating ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) priorities into its business strategy and operations continues with the sharing of its 2021 ESG Report.

The report highlights the company’s goals and progress across its priority ESG areas including cocoa sustainability, environmental sustainability, responsible sourcing, and human rights.

In 2021, Hershey updated its governance structure to better integrate, manage and optimize ESG as a key part of business operations and has built a comprehensive corporate governance model to drive its ESG strategy forward across the business, overseen by its Board of Directors.

Hershey's ESG strategy, or its’ Shared Goodness Promise’, guides the company to advance more sustainable growth with socially conscious and responsible business practices.

"Hershey has been an integral member of the communities in which we live and operate since our founding​," said CEO Michele Buck. "The culture that Milton Hershey created propels us to build on that legacy as we focus our efforts on integrating the important environmental, social and governance priorities throughout our business. We've made meaningful advancements on our global commitments, including our efforts to improve cocoa sustainability and support cocoa-growing communities. We've also made significant progress reducing our emissions in line with our science-based targets and were named by Forbes as the World's Top Female Friendly Company​."

Cocoa sustainability

Hershey's Cocoa For Good Strategy aims to improve farmer livelihoods in cocoa-growing communities through a $500m investment by 2030 that focuses on four areas of impact: nourishing children, empowering youth, prospering communities and preserving ecosystems.

Last year, Hershey said it achieved 68% cocoa sourcing visibility by volume in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana. The company has stated its goal is to achieve 100% sourcing visibility by 2025 under which all farmers are polygon mapped to improve traceability and monitor deforestation and are covered by the Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation System (CLMRS) to prevent, monitor, and remediate child labour.

Climate change

Hershey is making significant progress against its science-based targets, which focus on what the planet needs most from the company and its supply chain it said it has achieved a 48% reduction of its Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; significant progress toward its 2030 goal of a 50% absolute reduction, compared to a 2018 baseline. The company also reported an 18% reduction in Scope 3 emissions, on track to reach its goal of a 25% absolute reduction in Scope 3 emissions by 2030, compared to a 2018 baseline.

Inclusive hiring

The company set a new goal in 2021 to achieve a college recruiting portfolio that is at least 50% diverse and added 23 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) to its roster of universities and schools from which to recruit.

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