Hershey to reduce environmental impact across its value chain with raft of new measures

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

Hershey's iconic headquarters in Pennsylvania is set for an energy optimization upgrade. Pic: The Hershey Company
Hershey's iconic headquarters in Pennsylvania is set for an energy optimization upgrade. Pic: The Hershey Company

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In a statement the company said it is making measurable progress on its commitment to act on climate change. Recent initiatives include the launch of a third utility-scale solar project, energy and water optimization investments and continued progress addressing land use change.

As stated in its 2021 ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) Report, the candy and snack maker reduced its Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 48% and Scope 3 emissions by 18% against a 2018 baseline. As part of its science-based targets, Hershey said it aims to reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 50 percent and Scope 3 by 25 percent by 2030.

Earlier this month Hershey and National Grid Renewables announced a 140-megawatt Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for the Copperhead Solar & Storage Project in Falls County, Texas.

The project is expected to produce an estimated $25 million in direct economic impact throughout its first 25 years of operation, including the production of new tax revenue, onsite operations jobs and the creation of a charitable fund estimated at $600,000. This is Hershey's third solar PPA. The company's second project with National Grid Renewables, Noble Solar & Storage, is located in Denton County, Texas.

"Investment in renewable energy is pushing us closer to achieving our ambitious science-based targets​," said Mark Kline, Director, Commodities & Specialty Procurement at The Hershey Company. "The impact of these three solar projects will be equal to taking nearly 79,000* gas-powered vehicles off the road per year​."

The company has also announced a $3 million investment for energy optimization at its headquarters in Pennsylvania, which includes systems to report real-time utility usage data for electricity, natural gas and water.

Climate-Smart Cocoa Practices

Hershey said it is also committed to eliminating commodity-driven deforestation from its supply chain by 2030. Through its sustainable cocoa strategy, Cocoa For Good, the Kit Kat maker said it supports cocoa farmers through education on income diversification and climate-smart cocoa practices as the risks of climate change loom large for communities in West Africa. In 2021, 41% of Cocoa For Good farmers in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana were trained on climate-smart cocoa using a curriculum Hershey helped to develop alongside partners it said.

"Solving daunting issues like the impacts of climate change requires cross-industry collaboration. We are committed to partnering with others to achieve the impact we strive for. We know we don't have all the answers and our work continues, but are proud of the progress made so far​," said Leigh Horner, Vice President of Global Sustainability and Corporate Communications at The Hershey Company.

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