The Hershey Co. was recently recognized for the first time as one of America’s best Corporate Citizens in Corporate Responsibility Magazine. The magazine annually ranks the nation’s top 100 companies for demonstrated corporate social responsibility (CSR) best practices and a commitment to publicly reporting their socially responsible initiatives.
“We are thrilled with this recognition; it is a tribute to our employees around the world who work each and every day in a socially responsible way,” said Michele Buck, senior vice president, chief growth officer, in a prepared statement. “‘Doing well by doing good’ is part of our company’s DNA, and as we grow around the world, the sustainability of our global community remains fundamental to our business strategy.”
Hershey’s commitment to corporate social responsibility has led to attracting and retaining a highly engaged workforce dedicated to building on the legacy of founder Milton Hershey, delivering exceptional shareholder value, building a sustainable platform for global growth and strengthening the company’s global reputation, according to the company.
Hershey’s social responsibility initiatives are organized into a four-pillar framework: marketplace, environment, workplace and community.
This framework focuses the company’s CSR efforts and allows it to conduct its business in a socially responsible and environmentally sustainable manner while providing the market with high-quality products, according to Hershey.
Some recent achievements include:
- Marketplace: In February 2013, Hershey announced its 21st Century Cocoa Plan, a roadmap for how all of Hershey’s cocoa programs come together to help cocoa communities around the world grow sustainable cocoa for the next century. Hershey’s Cocoa Plan will reach 750,000 cocoa farmers and benefit more than two million West African people.
- Environment: Hershey invested in a $300-million expansion and modernization of its West Hershey plant, which was completed on time while being managed as a zero-waste-to-landfill (ZWL) project. This expansion also included the installation of major energy and water conservation measures. The West Hershey plant is one of five Hershey facilities currently operating as ZWL.
- Workplace: Hershey launched a Manufacturing Apprenticeship Program to actively recruit, hire, train and retain individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities for its manufacturing facilities. Hershey will expand this successful program in 2013.
- Community: The Hershey Co. donated more than $9 million to charitable causes in 2012, continuing the company’s long-time commitment to making a difference in the communities where it operates. Hershey employees also volunteered more than 200,000 hours in their local communities in 2012 setting a new company record.
The 100 Best Corporate Citizens list is based on publicly available information in seven categories: environment, climate change, human rights, philanthropy, employee relations, financial performance and governance. The list was recognized by PR Week as one of America’s three most-important business rankings.
Hershey was recently named to the Dow Jones Sustainability North American Index, named to the Civic 50 and moved up 172 spots in Newsweek’s Green Rankings. To learn more about The Hershey Co.’s Corporate Social Responsibility efforts please visit.