The Hershey Company

At The Hershey Company, we fully embrace our role as a steward of the environment. We are committed to making and delivering our products in ways that are both environmentally sustainable and socially responsible. We believe that it’s our duty to take an active role in the business of building a better world.

Our environmental efforts are local and global in scope and impact. We are minimizing our environmental impact while meeting functional requirements through product design, sustainable sourcing, and efficient business operations.

For more information on our Palm Oil sourcing, visit our Marketplace page.

Our primary challenge is to develop innovative ways to reduce our environmental impact while ensuring the quality and value our customers and consumers expect from The Hershey Company.

For our Environment Targets and updates on our progress, visit our CSR Reporting page.

View our Carbon Disclosure Project Responses:

Product Design

Our packaging is designed to deliver the consistently high product quality our consumers expect. At the same time, we’re committed to sustainable packaging practices that reduce environmental impacts, use natural resources wisely and maximize recycling.

Recyclable Packaging

Over 80% of our packaging material is recyclable including our syrup bottles, foil on HERSHEY’S KISSES Brand Milk Chocolates, HERSHEY’S MINIATURES Assortment, boxes used for WHOPPERS Malted Milk Balls, and paper wrappers on HERSHEY’S Giant Bars. For a detailed list click here.

North American Packaging Reduction

We were able to reduce our packaging by 1.4 million pounds in 2010. This consisted of 354,504 pounds of flexible packaging including the packaging used on HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate Bars, 612,128 pounds of rigid plastics used on products like HERSHEY’S Syrup, 413,559 pounds of corrugate used for stand-up product displays, and 19,480 pounds of paperboard used for products like WHOPPERS Malted Milk Balls.

One specific product change that had significant reductions in packaging was our HERSHEY’S Syrup bottles. From 2005-2009 we reduced the overall weight of our recyclable 22-ounce HERSHEY’S Syrup bottles by 7.6% through a redesign of the bottle cap and removing material from the body of the bottle. These changes in the weight of a single product container eliminated the need for 12.5 metric tons of high-density polyethylene in 2009 alone.

Sustainable Sourcing

We rely on suppliers to source many of our raw materials and processed ingredients in addition to manufacturing some of our products. Our sustainability efforts encompass our suppliers’ efforts to conserve and preserve natural resources. We have updated our Supplier Code of Conduct to help ensure that Hershey suppliers act within acceptable environmental standards. More information on our Supplier Code of Conduct is available here.

Sustainable Palm Oil Sourcing

Hershey Will Purchase 100% Traceable and Sustainably Sourced Palm Oil by the End of 2014

In addition to achieving its commitment to source 100% mass balanced RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) certified palm oil by the beginning of 2014, a year ahead of our original 2015 commitment, the Hershey Company has committed to achieve 100 percent traceable and sustainably sourced palm oil by the end of 2014. This is the latest step forward in our continuous efforts to ensure we are sourcing only sustainably grown palm oil that does not contribute to the destruction of wildlife habitat or negatively impact the environment.

To achieve this commitment, we will work closely with our suppliers and industry experts to ensure palm oil comes from sustainable sources. Suppliers will be required to independently verify that sources:

  • 1. Do not contribute to deforestation or the destruction of wildlife habitat.
  • 2. Do not clear high carbon stock forests.
  • 3. Do not contribute peat land expansion.
  • 4. Operate in compliance with local laws and regulations.

The goal of these requirements is to identify palm oil producers that are engaging in unsustainable practices, work with our suppliers to remediate these actions, and, if necessary, remove these producers from our supply chain.

In November 2013, Hershey’s palm oil sourcing efforts were recognized in the World Wildlife Fund’s 2013 Palm Oil Buyers Scorecard, where we scored 10 out of a possible 12 points.

Paper for our Offices

In 2011, we made a commitment to green our paper use. We partner only with office paper suppliers that use sustainable forestry practices and are Forest Stewardship Council or Sustainable Forestry Initiative certified. In our offices, we have switched to sustainable copier paper (30% recycled content with FSC certification) for all our copiers, faxes, and printers.

Efficient Business Operations

Everyday we are working toward making our business operations more efficient so that we can reduce our waste, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and water use, while increasing recycling. As a company we have invested in many capital projects, which will help us toward our future goals. We realize that the investments we make now will be beneficial in the future to our bottom-line and the environment.

Reese’s Plant, a zero-waste-to-landfill facility

In 2011, the Reese’s plant in Hershey, Pennsylvania was classified as a zero-waste-to-landfill facility, meaning that none of its routine manufacturing waste stream went to landfill disposal. Reese’s recycled more than 5000 tons or over 91% of the waste it generated from plant operations in 2010. The rest of the waste leaves the plant and is sent to an energy incinerator, where it is used beneficially as a fuel source, rather than being sent to a landfill.

HERSHEY’S CHOCOLATE WORLD Attraction: Energy Efficiency

HERSHEY’S CHOCOLATE WORLD Attraction, our global flagship retail store, activated its new solar panels in 2011. The 1,092 solar panels will generate an estimated 273 megawatt-hours and eliminate hundreds of metric tons of greenhouse gases each year. In addition to the solar panels, two electric vehicle charging stations were installed. These are the only public electric vehicle charging facilities currently available in Central Pennsylvania. The stations will allow electric car owners to charge their vehicles while they enjoy the experience within HERSHEY’S CHOCOLATE WORLD Attraction. “We are proud of our clean energy initiatives at HERSHEY’S CHOCOLATE WORLD Attraction, and we are pleased to share information about our environmental initiatives with our millions of visitors,” said Amy Hahn, Vice President and General Manager, Global Hershey Experience & Licensing.

HERSHEY’S CHOCOLATE WORLD Attraction achieved negative waste status in 2010 by recycling more waste than it sent to the landfill.

We also installed 182 solar panels on a new solar array at our Technical Center, which is located in Hershey, Pennsylvania. These solar panels will generate an estimated 45 megawatt-hours.

Reducing our CO2 Emissions

We have two programs that have been responsible for reducing our CO2 emissions by 25,716 thousand metric tons of CO2e. First is Project Overdrive, which has linked inbound and outbound shipments to plants and distribution centers. The project has reduced empty miles traveled by 17%, which equates to 287 trips around the world or enough fuel to heat 1,304 homes. We managed to achieve a logistics cost savings of $21,018,085 and we removed 4,242 trucks from the highway by the end of 2010.

The second project is our Lighting Efficiency Program through which we re-lamped our U.S. Manufacturing facilities and distribution centers, reducing energy by 50%. This reduction is equivalent to removing 3,500 cars off the road in one year.

Earth Day “Make a Greener Difference” Campaign

At The Hershey Company, we believe that our employees help us achieve efficient business operations. As a result, we engaged them in an environmental education and awareness campaign between Earth Day, April 22, 2011 and World Environment Day on June 5, 2011. Employees were invited and encouraged to attend presentations, events and explore online materials about how they can help us reach our environmental goals through making small changes. Although we are making large-scale changes to improve our impact on the environment, every employee plays an important role in reaching our goals through making a greener difference at work. For every employee who attended a presentation, participated in an event or viewed the online materials, we made a donation to a non-profit conservation organization that serves our regions of operation. We donated $30,000 as a result of employee participation in “Making a Greener Difference.”

We can reduce our carbon footprint here in Hershey, Pennsylvania and across the world by taking really small and easy steps

– Beth Correll, Strategic Sourcing Department

DAGOBA Organic Chocolate Plant

Hershey’s DAGOBA plant in Ashland, Oregon is powered by green energy through a Green Power Partnership program. The plant purchases electricity that is generated from renewable sources including 98% wind power, 1% solar power and 1% biomass.

Using Bio-Fuels to Help Power our Plants

At our Hazleton, Pennsylvania plant, we use Bio Gas Recovery to produce additional energy that helps power the facility. Our Hilo, Hawaii facility burns macadamia nut shells and used motor oil from nearby citizens and businesses for steam used in the manufacturing process. The plant is repurposing both of these substances and is keeping both out of the waste stream.

Carbon Disclosure Project

We voluntarily participated in the Carbon Disclosure Project for the first time in 2009. We received a score of 64 in 2009 and received a score of 77 in 2010.