The Hershey Company today announced it has surpassed its water consumption target three years early and its zero waste to landfill (ZWL) and recycling targets two years early. Last year, the chocolate maker announced that it was on track to do just that.
The company says that by the end of 2013, it had converted six of its manufacturing facilities to ZWL, surpassing its 2015 goal of five; achieved a recycling rate of 86.6 percent, beating its 2015 goal of 85 percent; and reduced water consumption per pound of product by 58 percent by the end of 2012, far exceeding its 2015 goal of 10 percent.
Hershey says its progress on water was partly attributable to “Project Next Century,” which included the expansion of its West Hershey manufacturing facility and the closure of its legacy 19 East Chocolate Ave. plant. The transfer of operations to the modern, more efficient West Hershey facility produced significant water reductions. Hershey expects to decrease water consumption even further and will have more detailed results available in its third CSR report, available this spring.
In addition to six manufacturing plants, five other Hershey facilities have achieved ZWL status, the company says. Three Hershey facilities that achieved ZWL status in the first week of January 2014 are: The Hershey Company Technical Center, Hershey Flight Operations and the Western Distribution Center. Hershey’s combined ZWL plants and facilities as of February 2014 are: Hazleton Plant (Hazleton, Pa.); Reese’s Plant (Hershey, Pa.); West Hershey Plant (Hershey, Pa.); Y&S Plant (Lancaster, Pa.); Robinson Plant (Robinson, Ill.); Stuarts Draft Plant (Stuarts Draft, Va.); Hershey’s Chocolate World Attraction (Hershey, Pa.); Eastern Distribution Center III (Palmyra, Pa.); Hershey Company Technical Center (Hershey, Pa.); Hershey Flight Operations (Middletown, Pa.); Western Distribution Center (Ogden, UT).
The six ZWL manufacturing plants represent 97 percent of Hershey’s U.S. production, 75 percent of all North American production and 67 percent of production globally.
“Given our faster-than-expected progress, we are pushing ourselves even harder and will set new environmental goals in our next CSR report using our 2013 numbers as our baseline,” said Terry O’Day, SVP and Chief Supply Chain Officer at Hershey. “Environmental sustainability is not a destination but a journey and one which our employees are passionate about. It’s their efforts that have allowed us to exceed our goals.”
On the human rights front, in February Hershey achieved its commitment to source 100 percent mass-balanced RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil)-certified palm oil more than a year ahead of its original 2015 commitment. The company now says it will also work with its suppliers to achieve 100 percent traceable and sustainably sourced palm oil by the end of 2014.