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Hershey 2023 ESG report showcases sustainability progress

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HERSHEY, Pa. — Hershey has released its 2023 Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report, which outlines how the company is implementing its global sustainability strategy. The report zeroes in on data across the company’s six priority areas  – cocoa, responsible sourcing and human rights, environment, people, youth and community.

Hershey’s Cocoa For Good strategy runs on a $500 million investment and includes initiatives to benefit farmers and their children and families. The report states that Hershey has invested 51% of that commitment.

The Hershey Income Accelerator Program was launched in spring of 2023, and the company has reached 1,850 cocoa farmers with first cash transfers as incentives for adopting sustainable farming practices. The company also made investments to improve education infrastructure, provide school nutrition, deliver school supplies and help children obtain birth certificates. Hershey is funding construction of 12 primary schools in cocoa-producing communities in partnership with the National Oversight Committee of Actions Against Child Trafficking, Exploitation and Child Labor and the International Cocoa Initiative. The first school opened in Drissapé, Côte d’Ivoire in December 2023. The company has also implemented a Human Rights Impact Pathway framework to guide future programming and drive systemic human rights improvements.

Environmental updates in the 2023 report included a 43% greenhouse gas emission reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions against a 2018 baseline and is on track to achieve a 50% absolute reduction by 2030, a phaseout of 1.7 million pounds of material by eliminating, redesigning and reducing packaging, and a 20% absolute reduction in combined water use across all facilities since 2022, which includes a 46% reduction at corporate headquarters.

Hershey’s people-focused programs aim to advance innovation and foster strong company culture, including programs such as the LSP Leader Accelerator to further improve how the company feeds the talent pipeline and develops talent from within. The company exceeded their target to recruit more veterans, implemented pay transparency procedures for each salaried employee’s Annual Compensation Statement including metrics to illustrate how base salary is positioned in the external marketplace, and expanded data disclosed on recruitment.

“Hershey remains focused on strengthening our business and making the biggest impact in our focus areas,” said Michele Buck, CEO of The Hershey Company. “While we have more to do on this journey, the collective efforts of our team, in partnership with leading organizations and key stakeholders, will continue to propel us forward. Our actions and progress are aimed at driving long-term resiliency for our business, sustainability for our planet and the well-being of our people.”


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