Hershey adapted to customers’ changing relationships with food better than ever before in 2015.
In its latest Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report, “Shared Goodness,” The Hershey Co. has showcased the progress the company made against a variety of priority issues in 2015.
Building on 2014, Hershey made continued progress through a range of efforts supporting the company’s commitment to responsible sourcing, ingredient transparency, simple ingredients and environmental sustainability. Additionally, 2015 marked the launch of Hershey’s Nourishing Minds program, the company’s global shared social purpose. The innovative program provides children in need with the basic nutrition they need to learn and allows Hershey to help address this critical issue with its deep expertise in food production.
“No trend impacts our industry more than consumers’ changing relationship with food, and this year we addressed consumer expectations better than ever before, starting with our commitment to simpler, more sustainable ingredients and greater transparency,” said John Bilbrey, chairman of the Board, president and CEO, The Hershey Co. “As we look to the future, we are proud of the goals we set and are confident that our efforts will continue to increase in quality and importance, creating value for our business and helping us have a more positive impact on the world.”
Key 2015 Hershey CSR Achievements
Responsible Sourcing and Ingredient Selection
In 2015, Hershey continued to make strides in its commitment to responsible sourcing, including:
- Sourced 50% of cocoa used globally from certified, sustainable sources.
- Added a fifth Learn to Grow program which will train an additional 8,000 cocoa farmers on sustainable, modern farming to increase family incomes and improve community well-being.
- Traced 90% of palm oil purchases to the mill level and 10% to the plantation level as of mid-2015, moving toward 100% plantation level traceability by the end of 2016.
- Published the company position on animal welfare, including humane treatment of animals.
- Published a pulp and paper policy to help prevent deforestation.
During 2015, Hershey aligned social innovation with business objectives and created the Nourishing Minds program, which serves as the company’s shared social purpose. Through this global program, Hershey is leveraging expertise in food processing, production and distribution to provide children the basic nutrition they need to learn and grow. This program offers a variety of volunteer opportunities for Hershey employees to use their technical skills to make a difference in our local communities. The goal is to nourish one million minds by 2020.
Food Quality, Safety and Transparency
Food safety has long been a top priority for Hershey and that focus continued in 2015. Additionally, Hershey started to transition iconic products to simple, familiar ingredients and extended its product transparency. The company spearheaded the development of the new SmartLabel QR-code transparency program with industry peers, giving consumers easy access to more information about the foods they eat. Hershey also became the first U.S. company to adopt SmartLabel.
Environment, Health and Safety Performance
In 2015, Hershey formally combined its environmental, health and safety departments into a single department to create greater efficiency, accountability and collaboration between these functions. During the year, Hershey also signed the White House American Business Act on Climate Pledge and announced ambitious new 2025 environmental goals, from greenhouse gas to water to waste, to replace goals previously set for 2017.
Workforce Engagement and Excellence
Last year, Hershey continued to focus on its people as key differentiators. We know that an inclusive workplace brings competitive advantages, and we want our workforce to be as diverse as the communities in which we live and do business. Key achievements include:
- Attracted and employed a diverse and talented workforce, including:
- Women make up 45% of our U.S. workforce, and 27% of our executive team are women.
- 50% of our new Malaysia leadership team is female.
- Our workforce globally is composed of 36% millennial generation employees
- Increased leadership roles held by minority employees at the director level and above to 18.5% of U.S.-based employees.
- Signed the Pennsylvania Competes pledge to support the Pennsylvania Fairness Act to protect LGBT Pennsylvanian’s from discrimination.
- Established a goal to become an industry leader in diversity and inclusion by 2020.
Hershey’s 2015 CSR report applies the Global Reporting Initiative (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.