Stepping Up in 2020 - The Hershey Company's Response to a Unique Year

Aug 11, 2021 1:30 PM ET

Originally published in The Hershey Company's 2020 Sustainability Report

In the face of new and ongoing global challenges, we used our expertise, along with that of external partners, to respond and embed lasting change around the world.

Managing Through COVID-19

At the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic we reinforced our health and safety measures and focused on the physical, emotional and economic wellbeing of our employees. We prioritized the safe operations for our Manufacturing and Field Sales teams to enable our business to continue operating during this challenging time. We also loaned our supply chain expertise and facilities to support healthcare systems, increased our corporate philanthropy to support struggling communities and collaborated closely with key stakeholders—like extending financing to suppliers and supporting localized responses in cocoa communities. For more info, see page 16.

Shoulder to Shoulder Against Systemic Racism

In the wake of George Floyd’s death on May 25, we co-created with our employees a strengthened inclusion strategy called The Pathways Project, with ambitious new diversity, equity and inclusion commitments. In addition, we deepened our community partnerships focused on racial justice and will be investing up to $3 million over the next decade in an endowment for students at historically and predominantly Black colleges and universities. This is the first time a company has ever committed to endow a Thurgood Marshall College Fund scholarship. For more info, see page 55.

Combating Climate Change

Our products rely on agricultural ingredients and a global supply chain. Climate change poses a significant and increasing risk to global food production systems and to the safety and resilience of the communities where we live, work and source our ingredients. This was underscored by historic wildfires in California and the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, the most active and the fifth costliest season on record. To help meaningfully reduce our impact on the climate, we have announced a new science-based target to cut our absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, amplifying our response and impact. For more info, see page 46.

Improving Farmer Livelihoods

Our complex global supply chain spans communities with high levels of poverty and inequality. The raw ingredients we source come from different countries with unique laws, labor standards and pricing models. We support the Living Income Differential (LID) in West African markets, in addition to the premium we pay for certified cocoa. We are also continuing with our investment of $500 million into cocoa communities by 2030 as part of our Cocoa For Good strategy. For more info, see page 40.


Read The Hershey Company's full 2020 Sustainability Report here