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Hershey Highlights Progress Towards Sustainable Sourcing & Environmental Goals

Image Credit: The Hershey Company

Hershey achieved 30 percent use of certified cocoa in 2014, putting the company ahead of schedule to hit its 2015 goal of 50 percent, according to Hershey’s 2014 Sustainability Report.

The company has pledged to use 100 percent certified and sustainable cocoa in all chocolate products by 2020.

Last year, Hershey also 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.

The report notes that Hershey expanded its 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.

Earlier this year, Hershey announced that it will source enough certified and sustainable cocoa in 2016 to surpass the amount of cocoa required for the global production of four of its most popular chocolate brands: Hershey's, Kisses, Kit Kat and Brookside. It also has pledged that it will source enough certified and sustainable cocoa to add the global Reese’s brand and others to these first four brands in 2017.

On the environmental sustainability front, in 2014 Hershey continued to make progress against its 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.
  • Lowered 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.

“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,” Hershey CEO John P. Bilbrey said in a statement.

Bilbrey was honored as a 2014 Responsible CEO of the Year by CR Magazine for “notably exceeding standards in the areas of employee relations, environmental impact, human rights, philanthropy and corporate responsibility practices.”

Mike Hower is Marketing Communications Manager at Carbon Lighthouse. With a background on both sides of the communications podium — as a journalist and strategic communicator — he is committed to helping organizations address climate change through sustainability innovation. Previously,… [Read more about Mike Hower]

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