Today, along with the release of its 2017 Shared Goodness Corporate Social Responsibility report, The Hershey Company unveiled ***Shared Goodness Promise***, a new CSR strategy aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and centered around investments, collaborative programs and sustainable business practices aimed at making a positive difference in peoples’ lives.
The new strategy provides a focused framework for the company’s CSR work in four areas: Shared Futures, Shared Communities, Shared Business and Shared Planet, and aims to address some of the biggest challenges facing communities around the world. It aims to nourish the lives of children and help them succeed in school, invest in purpose-driven initiatives and business models, safeguard the natural environment, help Hershey communities thrive, and engage Hershey’s employees in the efforts. Earlier this year, Hershey launched its Cocoa for Good strategy, a key component of Shared Business.
The Shared Goodness Promise ties the company’s business success to initiatives that positively impact people, communities and the environment. These include:
For more than 100 years, since the founding of the Milton Hershey School, Hershey has been giving children the chance at a better future. Shared Futures continues that work with nutrition programs that help children around the world learn and succeed in school. In 2017, the company nourished 208,072 children, which included producing and providing a vitamin-fortified snack called ViVi to 52,913 schoolchildren in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana.
As Hershey focuses on becoming an innovative snacking powerhouse, it has invested in becoming an increasingly socially responsible organization. As part of Shared Business, the company’s goal is to ensure that the ingredients that go into its products are responsibly sourced and it has already made strides: 75 percent of the cocoa and 50 percent of the coconut it sources is certified as sustainable, and 55,000 farmers in West Africa are enrolled in Hershey’s Learn to Grow sustainable agriculture programs.
Protect biodiversity and safeguard natural environments
Every business has a responsibility to safeguard the environment, and the ingredients needed to make Hershey’s products come from a healthy planet. As part of Shared Planet, Hershey is working towards evidence-based targets to reduce its overall impact on the environment while encouraging its suppliers to adopt sustainable growing techniques. In 2017, the company began focusing on reforestation, including a partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation to plant more than 133,000 trees in the U.S.
Enhance the lives of 10 million people
Building on its years of experience supporting the communities where Hershey employees live and work, Hershey’s new Shared Communities will invest in communities where the company operates by supporting basic needs to care for vulnerable community members; advancing education and training opportunities to support the workforce of tomorrow; and promoting inclusive civic, cultural and economic development initiatives that bring community members together. In 2017, Hershey donated $11.9 million in cash and $8.6 million in products, while its employees volunteered 130,737 hours in their communities.
Continue making Hershey a great place to work
Hershey has always looked to attract and retain remarkable employees with an engaging, innovative and diverse workplace. In 2017, the company had 50 percent female representation on its executive committee and 77 percent of its workforce reported being engaged at work. Our Remarkable People, which is threaded throughout the four-pronged strategy, aims to build on this success and make Hershey an even more compelling place to work.
*“*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,” said 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.”
For more information on Hershey’s Shared Goodness Promise, read the 2017 CSR report.