Hershey Highlights Progress In Fourth CSR Report

May 1, 2015

HERSHEY, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY) today issued its latest Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report, highlighting advances made during the past year against wide-ranging CSR goals. In particular, Hershey made continued progress through initiatives and programs supporting the company’s work in responsible sourcing, environmental sustainability, ingredient transparency and simple ingredients.

“We made significant strides in 2014, exceeding goals set in 2013 for sustainability and responsibly sourced ingredients and remain committed to these standards as we keep pace with the growing demand for our products,” said John P. Bilbrey, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Hershey Company. “Our consumers are at the heart of our company’s success and we are focused on delivering great products that meet their expectations, from great taste to how they are made and the ingredients we use.”

Key 2014 Hershey CSR Achievements

Responsible Sourcing and Ingredient Selection

In 2014, Hershey demonstrated continued growth in its responsible sourcing efforts, including:

  • Achieved 30 percent use of certified cocoa, putting Hershey ahead of schedule to hit its 2015 goal of 50 percent. Hershey has pledged to use 100 percent certified and sustainable cocoa in all chocolate products by 2020.
  • Helped found CocoaAction, a pre-competitive industry collaboration seeking to align the cocoa sustainability efforts of the world’s largest cocoa and chocolate companies to improve farmer productivity, address child labor challenges, make basic education available, and improve gender parity in cocoa production. CocoaAction aims to benefit up to 300,000 cocoa farmers and their local communities.
  • Expanded Hershey’s Learn to Grow program into Cote d’Ivoire. The program teaches farmers agricultural best practices and aims to distribute millions of new disease-resistant trees. Learn to Grow also continued to reach additional farmers in Ghana and Nigeria, where it was already established.
  • Introduced the YIELDFINDER program in Ghana to help track and project cocoa yields.
  • Partnered with The Forest Trust and traced 94 percent of procured palm and palm kernel supplies to the mill level.
  • Obtained Global Food Safety Initiative certification in 15 wholly owned facilities and one joint-venture facility.
  • Published an online ingredient glossary that lists and defines every ingredient used across Hershey’s brands in the United States and Canada.
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • After achieving many environmental goals ahead of schedule in 2013, Hershey continued to make progress against our new 2017 goals including:
  • Reduced waste per pound of product by 1.4 percent and reduced packaging waste by a cumulative 1.75 million points through 26 company-wide initiatives.
  • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions in United States distribution and logistics by 4.75 percent from 2013 baseline.
  • Introduced Hershey’s Miniatures packaging redesign that reduced waste while maintaining packaging quality and food safety.
  • Achieved zero-waste-to-landfill status at El Salto, Mexico facility, one of 11 Hershey facilities to achieve this milestone.
  • Industry Recognition

J.P. Bilbrey was honored as a 2014 Responsible CEO of the Year by CR Magazine. He was recognized for notably exceeding standards in the areas of employee relations, environmental impact, human rights, philanthropy and corporate responsibility practices. Under his leadership, the company made substantial progress in environmental sustainability and ethical sourcing programs. Other 2014 notable honors include:

  • Selected to Dow Jones Sustainability World and North America Index for second consecutive year.
  • Obtained 100 percent on Corporate Equality Index.
  • Won the prestigious P3 Impact Award for Hershey’s CocoaLink, recognizing public-private partnerships that have had the greatest impact on improving communities and the world.
  • Recognized for environmental achievements by being named No.46 out of 400 in the Newsweek Green Rankings.

Looking Ahead to 2015

Simple Ingredients and Transparency

Hershey has committed to begin a transition in 2015 to simple and easy-to-understand ingredients. This holistic reevaluation of its ingredients and product formulations builds and expands on Hershey’s ongoing commitment to responsibly source ingredients. The commitment focuses on three key principles:

  • Simple Ingredients – A commitment to making products using ingredients that are simple and easy to understand.
  • Transparency – Making product information easy to find, whether on packaging, the company’s website or through new technologies.
  • Responsible Sourcing of Ingredients  Continuing to work with our suppliers to responsibly source sustainable ingredients, building on success in ethical and sustainable ingredient sourcing during the past several years.

Basic Nutrition to Help Children in Need Learn and Grow

As Hershey grows globally, the company is focusing on a shared social purpose that will draw on the creativity, expertise, and passion of its employees around the world. Using a unique expertise in food production, world class research and design, and state of the art marketing and communications, Hershey seeks to make a meaningful difference in providing children in need with basic nutrition, while advancing our global business and enhancing the professional development of its employees.

A key achievement of this focus in 2014 was Hershey’s partnership with Project Peanut Butter, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing life-saving nutrition to children in Africa. Hershey helped build the organization’s newest manufacturing facility in Ghana, West Africa, contributing both financial resources as well as employee expertise. Hershey employees worked more than 6,200 hours to design and help with the startup of the plant, which is now in full operation. The plant will eventually be able to produce approximately 20,000 peanut-based therapeutic food servings each day, each nutritionally designed to effectively treat malnourished children.

Hershey’s 2014 CSR report follows the GRI G4 guidelines. GRI is a widely used standard that provides companies and organizations with a common framework to measure and report on sustainability performance. To view the complete report, visit Hershey’s Shared Goodness website.

About The Hershey Company

The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY), headquartered in Hershey, Pa., is a global confectionery leader known for bringing goodness to the world through its chocolate, sweets, mints and other great-tasting snacks. Hershey has more than 22,000 employees around the world who work every day to deliver delicious, quality products. The company, which has more than 80 brands around the world that drive over $7.4 billion in annual revenues, includes such iconic brand names as Hershey's, Reese's, Hershey's Kisses, Jolly Rancher, Ice Breakers and Brookside. Hershey is focused on growing its presence in key international markets while continuing to build its competitive advantage in North America. Additionally, Hershey is poised to expand its portfolio into categories beyond confectionery, finding new ways to bring goodness to people everywhere.

At Hershey, goodness has always been about more than delicious products. For 120 years, Hershey has been committed to good business by operating fairly, ethically and sustainably to make a positive impact on society. This means contributing to a better life for its employees, consumers, communities, and ultimately, creating a bright future for children in need. This commitment is exemplified by Milton Hershey School, established in 1909 by the company's founder and administered by Hershey Trust Company. The children who attend the school receive education, housing, and medical care – thriving as direct beneficiaries of The Hershey Company's success.