Sharing Goodness in a Year of Challenges: Introducing Hershey's 2020 Sustainability Report

Jun 7, 2021 2:05 PM ET

Originally published by Hershey

Today, The Hershey Company released its 2020 Sustainability Report. It’s difficult to capture in words the impact of 2020: a global pandemic resulting in a near-total lockdown around the world, the eruption of the largest racial justice movement the United States has experienced in a generation, and the impact of climate change that brought natural disasters unparalleled in scale.

I’ve always subscribed to the belief that when individuals and teams face significant challenge, purpose and values, or a lack of them, will determine whether rise or fall.

Shared Goodness, our holistic sustainability strategy, is our promise to see every day as a chance to be successful in a way that makes a difference. We harnessed the power of that promise, along with our purpose – to make more moments of goodness – and our values – togetherness, making a difference, excellence and integrity – to rise to the challenge.

Leading with Purpose and Values

With the onset of the pandemic early last year, our purpose of making more moments of goodness grounded and guided us. Our first priority was and continues to be the physical, emotional and economic well-being of our employees as we worked to help keep shelves stocked. We enacted a work-from-home policy for those who were able while focusing our attention on keeping frontline workers healthy and safe, with enhanced safety measures as well as appreciation pay and incentives to reaffirm our gratitude for their hard work and contributions.

Recognizing the immense pressure placed on the wellbeing of both individuals and families, we provided additional benefits and sick leave. And in response to the added challenges for working parents, Hershey rolled out new family-friendly benefits such as a childcare and transportation assistance app, an education platform for children and flexible time to balance added responsibilities.

True to our founder, Milton Hershey’s legacy of compassion, selflessness and purpose, we also focused our attention to those around us. We leveraged our facilities to manufacture more than $1 million in personal protective equipment for residents of Hershey, Pennsylvania – providing masks for our employees and their families, community nonprofits, healthcare organizations and school districts. And we joined forces with our partners in Ghana, Belize and Mexico to educate sugar and cocoa farmers on prevention best practices and safety guidelines to help them stay resilient and healthy.

Making More Moments of Goodness

Our remarkable people take immense pride in helping create those moments of goodness when our consumers needed them most. Prioritizing their wellbeing empowered Hershey to truly deliver on our purpose by filling empty shelves at stores, providing indulgent experiences at home and helping our customers start new traditions.

  • Quarantine Baking: As the world hunkered down and turned to the kitchen for entertainment and connection, Hershey was there with our cocoa and baking chips helping families find new recipes and creations to make quarantine a bit more fun.
  • Easter: With stay-at-home guidelines implemented right before Easter 2020, we went to work with our retail partners so that we could help people safely celebrate and create new traditions, such as preparing an Easter meal at home, buying Easter items online, baking homemade treats and participating in a family egg hunt at home.
  • Halloween: As we entered the most exciting candy celebration of the year, our continued focus on the physical and emotional wellbeing of our people and our communities led to a tremendous milestone: the largest Halloween in Hershey’s history. We debuted the most innovative product lineup yet, partnered with experts to guide parents and families to celebrate safely and created a month of programming to drive celebrations.

Moving Forward with Shared Goodness

Our Shared Goodness Promise is one of Hershey’s highest priorities. Our progress in 2020 demonstrates our commitment to drive impact, and to advancing meaningful change on racial justice, climate action, youth and community development and responsible sourcing of the ingredients that are core to our beloved products. Looking forward, we will continue to address the social and environmental issues that matter most to our employees, partners customers and communities.

To read more about our Shared Goodness, read our 2020 Sustainability Report here.

Look for more blogs coming in the days ahead sharing details about our environmental progress and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts in 2020.