Informed by the United Nations Guiding Principles (UNGPs), our approach to Human Rights Due Diligence (HRDD) is an ongoing risk management process that allows us to identify, prevent and mitigate human rights risks throughout our value chain.
Hershey is committed to making more moments of goodness from the consumer, all the way down to the farmer and beyond. This is central to our Human Rights Policy which outlines our commitment to respect human rights throughout our value chain.
Hershey worked with the leading human rights nonprofit organization Verité to create a methodology that allows us to map current and future human rights risk across our key value chains and geographic footprint. Using a set of indicators from more than 12 external data sources, along with Verité’s own research, we identified risks and opportunities for programming that will inform our work for the next few years.
We use our risk methodology to:
Hershey conducts human rights due diligence, using Sedex’s SMETA 4-Pillar audit standard, on our own facilities and on Tier 1 suppliers to assess compliance with our Company Code of Conduct and Supplier Code of Conduct. Our HRDD approach also includes worker voice models of engagement that allow us to hear directly from workers and other vulnerable populations. Hershey’s Responsible Sourcing Supplier Program and Responsible Recruitment Program supports and engages our Tier 1 suppliers in enhancing their ability to promote human rights for their workers, within their workplaces and their overall supply chains.
Hershey has laid out expectations for certain priority ingredients and materials that have inherent human rights challenges and social issues. These go beyond the requirements of our Supplier Code of Conduct and reflect our commitment to human rights and a transparent supply chain.
Every year, Hershey employees must complete training and acknowledge the standards, guidelines and practices set out in our Code of Conduct, including a commitment to uphold human rights and fair employment practices. Our Code of Conduct also states that employees should not engage in human rights abuses or conduct business with those who do.
In addition, procurement professionals, international supply chain professionals, and our Licensing team are required to take and pass Hershey’s Human Rights 101 training―a 40-minute e-learning session that covers topics such as the UNGPs; our salient human rights issues; purchasing practices; and how to be an internal champion for human rights. Available to all employees, this training is also added to employee learning plans across Human Resources and Manufacturing teams. Finally, through the Responsible Labor Initiative E-Learning Academy, we train Hershey buyers and managers of labor on identifying and preventing forced labor.
We’re committed to our values of Integrity and Excellence at every level of our business and throughout our supply chain. Our grievance mechanisms help ensure we are living up to our own expectations by inviting input from any stakeholders to identify potential issues or violations, increase transparency and promote continuous improvement.
Respecting human rights is a continuous effort, and we are committed to continuously reassessing and revising our approach considering new best practices, changes in the external environment and landscape, and the evolution of our business model and footprint. We will also continue to publish our responsible sourcing efforts on our corporate website, as well as in our annual ESG reports.