The Hershey Co. has secured a place on the World and the North American Dow Jones Sustainability Indices(DJSI).
Hershey is one of only 13 companies from the Food, Beverage and Tobacco Industry included in the World Index and is ranked in the 93 percentile overall. Hershey’s rankings in the various DJSI dimensions continue to increase year over year. This is the fourth consecutive year that Hershey has been included in the North America Index and the third year in the World Index.
Hershey’s selection to the prestigious World Index reflects the company’s substantial progress in its global Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts. Over the course of the last few years, Hershey has made significant strides in its corporate responsibility initiatives, including sustainable sourcing and improving basic nutrition to help children learn and grow, particularly in West Africa.
Hershey supports programs that provide training to West African cocoa farmers on responsible and sustainable growing practices that improve their livelihoods and benefit entire communities.
The company is also outpacing its milestones for achieving 100% certified and sustainable cocoa by 2020. Hershey set a new target earlier this year to source at least 50% of its global cocoa supply from certified and sustainable sources by the end of 2015, a full year ahead of schedule. Beginning in 2016, Hershey will source enough certified and sustainable cocoa to exceed the amount required for the global production of four of its most popular chocolate brands:
- Hershey’s Kisses
- Kit Kat in the U.S.
“Our cocoa sustainability work has always been about training and educational programs that make cocoa production a sustainable and attractive vocation for farmers in West Africa,” said Terry O’Day, senior vice president chief supply chain officer. “Through our industry-wide sustainability initiative, CocoaAction, we’ve aligned with our peers to support farmers and farming communities, which is good for the long-term future of cocoa production.”
Basic Nutrition to Help Children Learn and Grow
Hershey founder, Milton Hershey, created the Milton Hershey School in 1909 and since then the company has focused on giving underserved children the skills and support they need to be successful. Earlier this year, the company launched ‘Nourishing Minds,’ a global social platform that focuses on providing nutritious food to underserved children.
“We are evolving our social programs to align with our company and employees’ expertise in food production and processing so that we can make the most impact around the world,” added O’Day. “At Hershey, we believe that bright futures begin with basic nutrition. A child with an empty stomach can’t focus on school, and we’re addressing that need in West Africa and in our local communities in the U.S. and where we do business around the world.”
Nourishing Minds will impact communities around the world, including programs that provide nutritious food to underserved children in the U.S., but the work has begun in Ghana with a program called Energize Learning. Since June, Vivi, a peanut-based protein supplement developed by Hershey food experts, has been distributed, at no cost, to children in more than 130 schools. Hershey launched the program in partnership with the Ghana School Feeding Program and non-profit, Project Peanut Butter.
The Dow Jones Sustainability Indices are determined by SAM (Sustainable Asset Management), in partnership with the S&P and Dow Jones Indices. They are the first global sustainability benchmarks that track the financial performance and sustainable business practices of the world’s leading companies using economic, environmental and social criteria.