Finding focus in CSR can be challenging. Let’s be honest, almost all projects are worthwhile, because doing good is ... well, doing good. But it is important to find a focus and chart your path because while companies have great capacity for doing good, we live in a world of limited financial and people resources. As much as we may want to, we can’t work on every issue.
Hershey has a distinct advantage in tackling this challenge: a century-long legacy of business success and a history making a difference in the world, underpinned by a founder who was committed to “doing well by doing good.” Milton Hershey started The Hershey Company almost 125 years ago as the original purpose-driven company. He used the profits from his successful business to build the town of Hershey, Pennsylvania, so he could improve the lives of his employees; used innovative methods like cogeneration to power his factories, protecting the environment; and eventually left his fortune in trust to fund a school that would forever help give underprivileged children the support needed to succeed in life.
We’ve used these legacy cornerstones, took a hard look at who we are, where we came from and more importantly what was needed to move forward in today’s world, and created a new CSR strategy we call our Shared Goodness Promise. It’s a promise that brings our brands, business models and people together towards making a difference in the world, being better stewards of the planet we all share, building thriving communities where we live and work, and perhaps most near and dear to our hearts, nourishing children so they can learn, grow and thrive. The key tenants of this new strategy include:
We believe that our Shared Goodness Promise is a continuation of the same path first established by our founder and we hold ourselves accountable to uphold those legacy values, but we also move forward with renewed focus and stronger intent to shape the company’s impact on the world. With a focus on children as our future, our business as a force for change, helping ensure everyone thrives in our communities, and doing our part to preserve the planet, it is our clearest map for doing good in the world.
The path was always there, we just had to follow the breadcrumbs.
Read more about our strategy, and the milestones we reached in 2017, in our new Shared Goodness Report.