Hershey’s Second CSR Report Shows Substantial Progress on Sustainability Initiatives

Report Elevates Transparency, Sets Ambitious New Targets for the Future
Apr 30, 2012 3:45 PM ET
Press Release

(3BL Media) Hershey, PA - April 30, 2012 - The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY) today issued its second Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report, “Listen, Learn, Act,” providing updates on its substantial progress against the sustainability goals the company announced in its first report in 2010. The new report highlights how Hershey has met or exceeded nearly all of its original sustainability targets.  The report, which can be found at www.thehersheycompany.com/social-responsibility, also sets new targets for the company through 2015.

 “Our deep commitment to doing well by doing good traces back more than a century to the values and vision set by our founder, Milton Hershey,“ said John P. Bilbrey,  President and Chief Executive Officer, The Hershey Company.  “I am proud of our many, meaningful sustainability accomplishments during the past few years but we recognize this is a journey. Our team is committed to continually improving the way we do business and working to make our communities stronger.  The new goals we have set for ourselves are fundamental to our business strategy and linked to how we will grow our business around the world.” 

Hershey’s latest CSR Report outlines its priorities, programs, progress and new goals in the four pillars that define the company’s CSR framework:

  • Marketplace, which includes the company’s commitment to fair and ethical business dealings;
  • Environment, which includes Hershey’s environmental stewardship;
  • Workplace, which describes efforts to create a desirable workplace for Hershey’s employees who contribute to Hershey’s success; and
  • Community, which outlines Hershey’s focus on making a positive difference in communities around the world.

Progress Across All Four Pillars

The report outlines Hershey’s accomplishments in all four areas of its CSR framework and sets measurable new goals for future progress.  Examples of progress include:


  • Expanded commitment to cocoa communities in West Africa through a five-year, $10 million commitment to innovative initiatives that will raise living standards for 750,000 cocoa farmers and two million community members by 2020.
  • Formed a partnership with Rainforest Alliance to certify the cocoa used in Hershey’s Bliss® chocolates and work with farmers to improve agricultural practices, increase sustainability and improve livelihoods.
  • Launched CocoaLink, a first-of-its kind program funded by Hershey that uses mobile technology to deliver practical and critical agricultural and social training to rural cocoa farmers.
  • Promoted “Happiness through Well-Being” with consumers through Moderation Nation, a program that provides information and resources for making balanced choices and promoting activity.  The Hershey Center for Health & Nutrition also led and supported leading-edge scientific research on the cardiovascular health, weight management and cogitative function health benefits of cocoa, chocolate and nuts.  


  • Joined the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, a nonprofit association that develops and implements global standards for sustainable palm oil.
  • Advanced its commitment to reduce its carbon footprint through a range of initiatives, including installing solar panels in certain facilities, achieving “zero-waste-to-landfill” status at three manufacturing plants as well as Hershey’s Chocolate World attraction, and forming a joint warehousing, transportation and distribution initiative with Ferrero Group to maximize distribution efficiencies, reduce energy consumption and fuel use, and cut GHG emissions.
  • Achieved a recycling rate of 80% and saved more than $21 million through its various environmental initiatives in 2011.


  • Continued its top-tier employee health and safety record, improving lost workday case rates 29% since 2010 and improving total recordable incident rate by 15% compared to 2010.
  • Logged more than 56,000 hours of training in subjects such as high-tech skills, ethics and leadership.
  • Achieved a score of 100% on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index


  • Increased cash donations to philanthropic organizations by 28% in 2011 compared to the previous year.
  • Contributed more than $9.1 million dollars in cash and product donations through company and employee giving.
  • Donated nearly 10,000 employee volunteer hours to deserving causes.
  • Set a record for company giving to the United Way with more than $2 million, with employee contributions totaling a record $1.3 million and the company matching contribution totaling $850,000.
  • Participated, through the Hershey’s Sales Teams (around the world), in 137 community volunteer events, surpassing goal of 100.

In 2011, The Hershey Company earned top honors from Forbes magazine in the Forbes Top Brands list. Hershey was ranked No. 1 for Ethical Leadership, No. 1 for Honest and Trustworthy, and No. 5 for Overall Brand.

Hershey’s new CSR report reflects a higher level of transparency compared to the company’s first report, attaining the Global Reporting Initiative‘s (GRI) B+ transparency level. GRI is a widely used standard that provides companies and organizations with a common framework to measure and report on sustainability performance.


About The Hershey Company
The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY) is the largest producer of quality chocolate in North America and a global leader in chocolate and sugar confectionery. Headquartered in Hershey, Pa., The Hershey Company has operations throughout the world and approximately 12,000 employees. With revenues of more than $6 billion, Hershey offers confectionery products under more than 25 brand names, including such iconic brands as Hershey's, Reese's, Hershey's Kisses, Hershey's Bliss, Hershey's Special Dark, Kit Kat, Twizzlers, Jolly Rancher and Ice Breakers.  Hershey also offers premium and artisan chocolate products under such brands as Scharffen Berger and Dagoba through the Artisan Confections Company, a wholly owned subsidiary. The company is focused on growing its presence in key international markets such as China and Mexico while continuing to build its competitive advantage in the United States and Canada.

For more than 100 years, The Hershey Company has been a leader in making a positive difference in the communities where its employees live, work and do business. Corporate Social Responsibility is an integral part of the company’s global business strategy, which includes goals and priorities focused on fair and ethical business dealings, environmental stewardship, fostering a desirable workplace for employees, and positively impacting society and local communities. Milton Hershey School, established in 1909 by the company's founder and administered by Hershey Trust Company, provides a quality education, housing, and medical care at no cost to children in social and financial need. Students of Milton Hershey School are direct beneficiaries of The Hershey Company's success.

Jeff Beckman
+1 (717) 534-8090