Hershey Debuting New CSR Strategy, Releases 2017 Progress Report

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Hershey, PA — During 2017, The Hershey Co. made significant advancements on its corporate social responsibility commitments, according to a report from the candymaker. Additionally, the company is furthering its commitments with the unveiling of its Shared Goodness Promise program.

The candymaker reports the new strategy has a focused framework consisting for four parts: Shared Futures, Shared Communities, Shared Business and Shared Planet. The promise, which aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, address some of the biggest global challenges such as child nutrition in developing nations and protecting biodiversity.

“Hershey is a company that has married being purpose-driven with offering meaningful, impactful day-to-day work,” says Hershey CEO Michele Buck. “The reason is simple: We believe — and prove — that you can be a fierce competitor in the market while operating in a compassionate way with teams of people who are about each other and their communities. The Shared Goodness Promise is to see every day as a chance to be successful in a way that makes a positive difference.”

The new program links business success to initiatives that positively impact people, communities and the environment, according to Hershey, which highlights the following five projects and their progress:

Nourish One Million Minds by 2020: This past year, the candymaker improved nutrition for more than 208,000 children, including producing and providing vitamin-fortified snack ViVi to more than 52,000 schoolchildren in Ivory Coast and Ghana.

Brands, Business Models To Change The World: As Hershey begins to focus more on becoming a snacking powerhouse, it is increasing its focus on responsible ingredient sourcing. To this end, 75 percent of the candymaker’s cocoa and half of its coconuts are derived from certified sustainable sources. Further, the company’s Learn to Grow sustainability program has enrolled 55,000 farmers in West Africa.

Protect Biodiversity, Natural Environments: The company is working to establish evidence-based targets to reduce its impact on the environment, while urging suppliers to adopt sustainable growing practices. During 2017, the company used this mindset to partner with the Arbor Day Foundation and planted more than 133,000 trees in the U.S.

Enhance 10 Million People’s Lives: The company is working to invest in communities where it operates by supporting basic needs for vulnerable community members; advancing education and training opportunities for the workforce of tomorrow; and promoting inclusive civic, cultural and economic development. This past year the company donated more than $11.9 million in cash and $8.6 million worth of products, while Hershey employees racked up more than 130,000 volunteering hours.

Great Place To Work: Hershey will continue working to attract and retain top talent through an appealing, innovative and diverse workplace, according to the company. During 2017, 77 percent of Hershey employees reported being engaged at work. On the diversity front, the candymaker reports its executive committee is comprised of 50 percent female representation.

“The Shared Goodness Promise aims to make a difference in the lives of thousands of people around the world, from the West African farmers growing the cocoa used in our products to the employees in our facilities in the United States,” says Jeff King, senior director of sustainability, corporate social responsibility, and social innovation at Hershey. “It helps us to focus our resources and the talents of our people — whether they’re nutrition, manufacturing or finance experts — in ways that are a making a powerful difference in the lives of individuals and entire communities.”