The Hershey Company famous for its chocolate, producing some of the best, loved chocolate bars in the world, is also fast becoming known for being a socially responsible company. It recently issued its second Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report entitled, ” “Listen. Learn. Act.” It outlines the brand’s commitment to look after the planet while doing business. James Nevels, Chairman at Hershey’s, says, “The issues that we are addressing—such as human rights, climate change and resource scarcity—are global in scope and complex in nature. They require that we listen, learn and act.”
The Hershey CSR report clearly shows how the company has met or exceeded nearly all of its environmental goals between 2009 and 2011, and now, Hershey wants to do more. It has set out even more ambitious goals to achieve by the end of 2015. One of Hershey’s key achievements is its Zero Waste to Landfill (ZWL) at two of its facilities by 2011, exceeding its 2012 goal.
Acquiring ZWL status requires real creativity to reduce and eliminate waste streams so that materials are not going into landfills. For Hershey, this meant really pushing itself to be a socially responsible company to increase its manufacturing recycling rates to nearly 90 percent. It found ways to convert the balance to energy, lowering the company’s overall waste footprint. One innovative solution was the Company’s animal feed program. Manufacturing food waste is converted into productive animal feed, eliminating a potential waste stream while helping farmers across the region.
Another key environmental goal for Hershey was to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent by 2011 from a 2008 baseline. This triggered a company-wide focus on efficiency and renovations to lower its energy needs. This socially responsible company added biogas recovery to certain manufacturing plants to capture usable energy that would lower its overall energy requirements and reduce its carbon footprint. In another move, the company has removed approximately 2,000 trucks from the highway and reduced carbon dioxide emissions by more than 1,300 tonnes. This is the carbon dioxide equivalent of burning more than 145,700 gallons of gasoline.
Looking to the future, The Hershey Company understands the environmental issues related to scarce resources, climate change, population growth and other challenges are integral to its success. It has demonstrated its deep commitment to being a socially responsible company, by reducing the environmental impacts of its operations and will continue to do so. This company clearly wants to continue to be a CSR leader dedicated to being a guardian of the planet.