Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
Daily news about corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability

Hershey places ESG at core of business operations


Hershey’s 2021 environmental, social and governance report marks a reaffirmation of its sustainability strategy which is increasingly getting integrated into its business operations.

When Leigh Horner, Vice President, Corporate Communications & Global Sustainability at Hershey, joined the company 10 years ago, someone told him that as an employee you are the bellwether of the company and that you must always focus on leaving the company better and stronger as you move forward.

This message, was incredibly powerful, as it bound the employees to work and think as a team, which cared for not only one another but also for communities, and the planet. The statement had a truth which resonates with Hershey’s corporate culture.

Historically, Hershey’s annual reports have emphasized on community support. Whether it's corporate social responsibility, sustainability or ESG, building communities, sustainable value chains and more have always been in focus at the company.

Whether it's five months in the company or 50, Milton's Hershey vision continues to be a great attraction and source of pride for employees. So, with the release of Hershey’s 2021 ESG Report, the company reaffirms its legacy and sharing of its ESG priorities, progress and challenges.

It reflects an ESG strategy based on strategic insights and commitments, with focused efforts impacting every aspect of its business. Essentially, this work seeks to answer the key question, such as - how do we create long-term sustainable businesses where the environment can thrive along with its stakeholders and individuals in the value chain for decades to come?
ESG  - for the betterment of business
“I've said time and time again that the people who make our iconic and beloved brands love them as much as the consumer. I know you have a connection. It puts a smile on your face and makes your life a little better, at least for a moment. ESG is a kind of map that shows how these products will come to life and the positive impact we can have along the way. This includes where and how we source the cocoa and other ingredients used in these treats. This is how we engage and reach out to those who help create these good moments, from our employees to our farmers,” said Leigh Horner.

He went on to add, “In this way, our operations can not only conserve natural resources, but also improve them, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and our impact on the planet. As part of our ESG strategy, we strive for transparency and are constantly challenging ourselves to perform better for our company, our people and the planet.”

“We also use tools and scorecards to monitor and improve ESG-related efforts, just as we track performance with sales, production and quality metrics.”
Hershey primarily focuses on 6 ESG priorities:
  • Cocoa
  • responsible sourcing
  • human rights
  • environment,
  • people
  • youth and society
Focussing on priorities
In recent years, Hershey has improved how it manage its ESG strategy. Case in point: in 2021, it updated its corporate governance to clarify the board's role in overseeing ESG strategy and performance.

The company’s Board of Directors has been working on social and environmental strategy for years, irrespective on how its been labelled: CSR, Sustainability or ESG. Formalizing their oversight and involvement and continuing to enhance its operational management has resulted in more aligned and integrated investment and program decisions across its businesses.

Making a positive impact has been always been part of Hershey’s DNA since its inception. With ESG being integrated into its business, employees work better as a team and are more enthusiastic and excited about the future.