Hershey Invests in Sustainable Cocoa Sourcing

Other key progress in its sustainability efforts includes setting new science-based targets.

June 04, 2021

Hershey Sustainability Practices

HERSHEY, Pa.—The Hershey Company highlights its progress on key environmental and social initiatives during a year of unprecedented challenges in its 2020 Sustainability Report. The report reviews the company’s holistic sustainability strategy—known as its Shared Goodness Promise—which includes initiatives across the enterprise and value chain such as responsible sourcing, respecting human rights, climate action, equity and inclusion, employee wellbeing, diversity and community engagement.

Hershey’s Shared Goodness Promise guides the company to make positive change at scale and to leverage its business to advance more sustainable growth, with socially conscious and responsible business practices. With the onset of the pandemic in 2020, Hershey’s top priority in 2020 was the physical, emotional and economic well-being of its employees as it worked to make “more moments of goodness” for consumers at a time when it was needed most.

The company made significant progress in its efforts to responsibly source cocoa while building healthy, prosperous cocoa communities, and it took meaningful action to reduce its environmental footprint. Additionally, the company put racial equality at the forefront of its agenda, co-creating with employees a strengthened diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy, investing in underrepresented communities and taking action to help end systemic racism.

“2020 was a year of unprecedented challenges and hardship for us all, but also one of opportunity. At Hershey, our purpose—to make more moments of goodness—and our values of togetherness, integrity, excellence and making a difference, grounded our every effort as we put goodness into action by looking after one another and working together each and every day to make a positive impact,” said Michele Buck, chairman, president and CEO of The Hershey Company, in a press release.

Notable milestones highlighted in Hershey’s 2020 Sustainability Report include:

Managing Through COVID-19: Protecting the physical, emotional and economic well-being of its many stakeholders was Hershey’s top priority throughout the pandemic. The company invested $1 million to convert traditional manufacturing operations to produce more than 40 million masks, a portion of which were donated to community organizations and schools in its hometown of Hershey, Pa. 

Sourcing Cocoa Responsibly: At the heart of making the best chocolate in the world is sourcing the best cocoa grown around the globe—and Hershey continues to prioritize responsible cocoa sourcing to bring its iconic products to market sustainably. In 2020, Hershey achieved its 100% certified and sustainable cocoa commitment made in 2011 and further committed to 100% direct sourcing of all cocoa from Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana by 2025, enabling the company to have greater visibility and impact into where and how its cocoa is grown. Through its “Cocoa For Good” strategy, Hershey will continue its focus on supporting cocoa farmers and their families to be able to live healthy, prosperous lives in thriving ecosystems.

Strengthening Climate Action: Hershey set science-based targets to reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50% across Scope 1 and 2 and 25% across Scope 3 by 2030, compared to 2018. Hershey concluded 2020 with a 23.7% improvement in Scope 1 and 2 emissions and a 12.6% improvement in Scope 3 emissions against its baseline. These bold steps will support Hershey in ensuring the long-term sustainability of its business, the planet and its people.

Advancing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI): Hershey accelerated its focus on diversity, equity and inclusion with a refreshed enterprise inclusion strategy, new trainings, educational and career development resources for employees and a $1.5 million investment in the Thurgood Marshall College Fund to provide scholarships for underrepresented populations. The company will achieve these commitments through The Pathways Project, a new enterprise strategy focused on inclusive hiring practices, targeted retention and advancement efforts and community engagement initiatives.

To learn more about why companies are aiming to become more sustainable, listen to “Sustainability Strategy for People, Planet, Prosperity and Convenience,” part of the Convenience Matters Podcast.