Our approach to human rights due diligence is guided by the United Nations Guiding Principles (UNGPs) and is an ongoing risk management process that allows us to identify, prevent and mitigate human rights risks throughout our value chain.
The Hershey Company was founded on the principle of doing well by doing good. For more than 125 years, we have operated our business understanding that we are integral members of the communities where we live and work. Our Human Rights Policy outlines our commitment to respect human rights throughout our value chain and is part of our global sustainability strategy, the Shared Goodness Promise.
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 leveraged key data sources including U.S. Departments of State and Labor Reports, the UN Multidimensional Poverty Index, UN international migrant stock data, ITUC Global Rights Index and the UN Gender Inequality Index.
We use our risk methodology to:
Read more about our work with Verité.
Hershey conducts due diligence on our own facilities and on suppliers to assess compliance with our Company Code of Conduct and Supplier Code of Conduct as we advance our human rights commitments. Our human rights due diligence also includes worker voice models of engagement that allow us to hear directly from workers and other vulnerable populations. The Hershey Company Responsible Sourcing Supplier Program supports and engages our first-tier suppliers in enhancing their ability to promote human rights for their workers, within their workplaces and their overall supply chains.
Hershey has also laid out expectations for certain materials and ingredients 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, which includes 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, 100 percent of procurement professionals, international supply chain professionals, and our Licensing team are required to take and pass the Hershey Company Human Rights 101 training―a 40-minute e-learning session that covers topics such as the UNGPs; our salient human rights issues, including forced labor; 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.
Read more about how we support supplier training and capability building
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 sustainability reports.