The Hershey Co. is advancing its commitment to global climate action by setting new ambitious goals to reduce its global emissions, which are in line with the Paris Climate Agreement to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C.
In 2019, the company committed to the Science Based Targets initiative that it would audit its operations and develop targets to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in line with the best available climate science. As a result of that process, Hershey's newest goal is to reduce its absolute Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by more than 50% and its absolute Scope 3 emissions by 25% by 2030, compared to a 2018 baseline.
"Climate change is one of the most urgent threats to our planet that we face today. In order to deliver on our purpose to make more moments of goodness, we must operate with sustainability at the forefront and commit to doing our part to address climate change," said The Hershey Co. president and CEO Michele Buck. "We will continue to use our scale and apply the full force of our business to reduce our greenhouse emissions and drive climate action forward."
Hershey will deploy a comprehensive, global approach to reduce emissions through targeted investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy, packaging innovations and sustainable land-use policies. These commitments are part of its Environment, Social and Governance agenda, a key priority for the company and a focus for how it operates its business around the world.
Energy efficiency investments
To reach its Scope 1 and Scope 2 commitments, The Hershey Co. signed two power purchase agreements that will enable the construction of two new utility-scale solar farms. With additional energy efficiency projects focused on increasing reliance on clean and renewable energy across its operations, the company expects to reduce its Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions by more than 40% by 2024.
To drive this commitment forward, each Hershey location around the world has designated an Energy Champion who is responsible for implementing carbon savings, meeting energy conservation goals, promoting employee engagement, and identifying opportunities for energy reduction and efficiencies.
Advancing sustainable packaging solutions
In 2015, Hershey committed to reducing its packaging weight by 25 million pounds by 2025 and has successfully delivered on that promise five years ahead of schedule.
Building on this progress, the company has set a new goal to reduce packaging weight an additional 25 million pounds by 2030 and is also targeting 100 percent of its plastic packaging to be recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2030.
Ending deforestation by 2030
Action on land-use is a critical part of Hershey's plan to reduce its Scope 3 emissions. In its latest commitments, company is pledging to end deforestation across its supply chain by 2030 with a new company-wide deforestation policy.
The agenda applies to all suppliers across the company's raw material supply chains; however, Hershey will prioritize achieving independent verification of compliance with this policy for the commodities in its supply chain that present the greatest risk of contributing to deforestation, including cocoa, palm oil, pulp and paper (packaging), and soy.
As part of Hershey's No Deforestation commitment, the company will take action against any supplier that is not in compliance with the policy, including potentially suspending or removing them from our supply chain.
Historically, Hershey has worked to address deforestation across key commodities, most notably cocoa. The company is a founding member of the Cocoa and Forests Initiatives in partnership with the governments of Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana and the world's leading cocoa and chocolate companies.
As part of its work to prevent deforestation, Hershey uses GPS devices to collect information about farm boundaries and create polygon maps of the farms from which it sources cocoa. These maps are combined with satellite images to identify places where forests and other sensitive ecosystems may have been degraded or where intact forests remain in proximity to cocoa farms.
The company also remains committed to reforestation efforts in these communities. Between 2013 and 2019, Hershey distributed more than 7.4 million cocoa trees and 921,000 shade trees to promote biodiversity, food security and income diversification.
"These environmental commitments are critical to the long-term sustainability of our business," Senior Director of Global Sustainability and Social Impact Jeff King. "The work is interconnected across our business and requires us to bring together all efforts across the company, from manufacturing, energy buying and packaging to make it work seamlessly to reach our goals."
Based in Hershey, The Hershey Co. has more than 80 brands globally that drive more than $8 billion in annual revenues, including such iconic brand names as Hershey's, Reese's, Kit Kat, Jolly Rancher, Ice Breakers, SkinnyPop and Pirate's Booty.
Originally published at Convenience Store News.