Hershey Releases 2020 Sustainability Report

By Helen Adams
Hershey Releases 2020 Sustainability Report

The Hershey Company, best known for Reese's peanut butter cups, Twizzlers, York peppermint patties, and Kit Kat wafer bars, has released its 2020 Sustainability Report.

Key environmental and social initiatives during a challenging year were highlighted. The report reviews the company's Shared Goodness Promise – which includes initiatives across the enterprise and value chain such as:

  • Responsible sourcing
  • Respecting human rights
  • Climate action
  • Employee wellbeing
  • Diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Community engagement


Hershey's Shared Goodness Promise guides the company to make positive change and to advance more sustainable growth.

Hershey has approximately 17,000 employees around the world who work every day to deliver delicious, quality products. The company has more than 90 brands around the world that drive more than $8.1 billion in annual revenues.

"2020 was a year of unprecedented challenges and hardship for us all, but also one of opportunity”, said Michele Buck, Chairman, President and CEO of The Hershey Company. “At Hershey, our purpose – to make more moments of goodness - grounded our every effort as we put goodness into action by looking after one another and working together each and every day to make a positive impact. I am tremendously proud of the progress we made and the accelerated actions we took across ESG.”

Notable milestones highlighted in Hershey's 2020 Sustainability Report include:


Hershey managing through COVID-19

Hershey invested $1m to convert traditional manufacturing operations to produce more than 40 million masks, a portion of which were donated to community organizations and schools in its hometown of Hershey, PA. 

The company also provided incremental incentives and appreciation pay to its front-line workers in manufacturing and retail workers globally, enhanced its facilities with new safety equipment to allow for physical distancing and procured personal protective equipment (PPE) and hand sanitizer for employees and suppliers alike. 

Recognizing the dramatic shift for employees working from home, Hershey offered new family-friendly benefits to employees and flexible calendar management to balance added responsibilities. Hershey also joined forces with its partners in Ghana, Belize and Mexico to educate sugar and cocoa farmers on safety guidelines and best practices to help these communities stay resilient and healthy.


Sourcing Cocoa Responsibly

Hershey continues to prioritise responsible cocoa sourcing to bring its iconic products to market sustainably. In 2020, Hershey achieved its 100% certified and sustainable cocoa commitment made in 2011 and further committed to 100% direct sourcing of all cocoa from Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana by 2025, enabling the company to have greater visibility and impact into where and how its cocoa is grown. 


Strengthening Climate Action

Hershey will invest in energy efficiency, improve the environmental sustainability of its packaging, work to stop land-use change in the agriculture production of ingredients and harnessing the passion of its employees on sustainability through new Green Teams that were launched during the year. 

In addition, the company has released its inaugural Task Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosures report, detailing how Hershey incorporates considerations of climate risks and opportunities into its business. 


Advancing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)

Hershey accelerated its focus on diversity, equity and inclusion with a refreshed enterprise inclusion strategy, new trainings, educational and career development resources for employees, and a $1.5 million investment in the Thurgood Marshall College Fund to provide scholarships for underrepresented populations. 

Hershey’s goal is to increase the representation of people of colour to 30-40% amongst its U.S. employees and of women globally to 47-50% by 2025. 

“There remains more work ahead for us”, continued CEO Buck. “By continuing to put our people first and focusing on what matters most to all of our stakeholders, we are confident about the future."


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