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First, what does sustainability mean?

Sustainability is mentioned a lot these days, in many different ways. In its most basic form, sustainability means to “meet the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.” It’s about operating in a manner today that ensures we can keep operating well into the future.  It relates to reducing environmental impacts, yes! But it is also about improving lives, treating people fairly, and growing responsibly.   

What is sustainability in business?

We just covered what sustainability is, but how do companies do it? Corporate Sustainability is often broken out into three different principles — environmental, social and economic. This means businesses should be trying to meet the needs of these three principles as much as they can.

Another way to think about it is planet, people and profit. What can a company do to protect the planet, support its people and communities and promote economic profit and opportunities? It starts with implementing an integrated balance of these three sustainability principles.

Why is sustainability important to Hershey?

We are fortunate that people have enjoyed our delicious treats for more than 125 years, and we aspire to continue to be able to share our snacks with generations to come.  To do that, we need a healthy planet to grow ingredients and supply chains where people are treated fairly and earn a good livelihood.  We also need to continue to foster trust and partnerships in the communities where we operate.  Hershey was founded on the idea of bringing goodness to the world and, committing to sustainability is one big way we continue to do so.  

The Shared Goodness Approach

For Hershey, our sustainability strategy is directed by the five pillars of our Shared Goodness Promise: driving responsible business growth, reducing environmental impact, activating our remarkable people, improving lives across our communities, and perhaps most near and dear to our hearts, by nourishing the lives of children so they can learn, grow and thrive.

Driving Responsible Growth

Our beloved brands rely on ingredients and raw materials grown and provided by millions of people all over. It’s important to the legacy of our products to safeguard cocoa, but also to our responsibility as people to protect and enrich the livelihood and communities of our cocoa farmers. Our program, Cocoa For Good is dedicated to holistically address the most pressing issues these communities are facing – from poverty to climate change.

Reducing Our Environmental Impact

We’ve long known that our business relies on ingredients that come from a healthy earth. That is why we’re building on our existing programs and embarking on a journey to reduce our impacts on climate, water, land and air in a way that aligns with the best available science.

Activating Our Remarkable People

Caring for our remarkable employees’ quality of life has simply been baked into what Hershey does, from the beginning when Milton Hershey built a town for his workers. We know that the best ideas come from our employees who bring diversity and unique experiences to our company, which is why we continue to put in place diversity and inclusion initiatives that help connect, educate, inspire and empower our amazing employees.

Improving Lives Across Our Communities

For more than 125 years, we have operated our business understanding that we are integral members of the communities where we live and work. Our remarkable people show up in their communities every day, volunteering hundreds of thousands of hours each year for the causes they care about. In addition to volunteering and donations, we utilize our professional skills to assist in communities — from helping small and growing food companies in West Africa to partnering with local nonprofits to help build their capacity.

Supporting Children & Youth for Bright Futures  

From the moment Milton Hershey founded a school for orphaned boys in 1909, Hershey has continued our founder’s legacy of helping children succeed and reach their full potential. Today, we leverage our reach to increase access to education, nutrition and wellbeing for children around the world through multiple initiatives, partnerships and programs.