Hershey uses pulp and paper to package, transport and market our beloved brands. The forests that provide the material for these products serve as important reservoirs of greenhouse gases, provide important habitats and biodiversity, and support livelihoods for local communities.
However, forests around the world are under pressure as they are cleared to provide materials or land. Sustainable forest management is crucial to protecting this vital resource, which is why Hershey is committed to responsibly sourcing recycled materials and certified virgin fibers for our products.
In 2021, we updated our Responsible Pulp & Paper Sourcing Policy. This policy outlines our virgin fiber sourcing requirements and expands our responsible sourcing goals to our global supply chain. We are committed to achieving a responsibly sourced pulp and paper (virgin fiber) supply chain that is free from deforestation, peatland development and worker exploitation. We aim to do this through traceability and certification to the following standards: Forest Stewardship Council, Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification or the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.
We publish our list of suppliers and mill groups that supplied pulp and paper to Hershey’s global operations. This list is updated annually. Our 2021 update includes suppliers and mills that supply to our global operations in line with our updated Responsible Pulp & Paper Sourcing Policy. In 2021, we also assessed and published our virgin fiber sourcing origins for global operations.
We recognize packaging waste is a mounting global issue that is increasingly on the minds of our customers and consumers. We’re actively looking into how we can package our products more sustainably. We have set a new goal to have 100 percent of our plastic packaging to be recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2030 and to eliminate hard-to-recycle materials, such as PVC, from our packaging by 2022. Exploring sustainable packaging options requires a holistic approach that balances consumer needs, quality and safety, manufacturing, and distribution implications. In assessing solutions, we are cautious to ensure we are not solving one problem only to create another. While we pursue more sustainable options, our priority is to make sure that our packaging continues to support bringing high-quality and safe consumable products to market.