Hershey, PA — Recent initiatives including the launch of a third utility-scale solar project, energy and water optimization investments and continued progress addressing land use change have helped advance The Hershey Co.’s commitment to act on climate change.
As stated in its 2021 ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) Report, the company reduced its Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 48 percent and Scope 3 emissions by 18 percent against a 2018 baseline. As part of its science-based targets, Hershey aims to reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 50 percent and Scope 3 by 25 percent by 2030.
Investing in Renewable Energy
Hershey and National Grid Renewables have also announced Hershey’s 140-megawatt Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for the Copperhead Solar & Storage Project in Falls County, Texas. The project is expected to produce an estimated $25 million in direct economic impact throughout its first 25 years of operation, including the production of new tax revenue, onsite operations jobs and the creation of a charitable fund estimated at $600,000.
“Investment in renewable energy is pushing us closer to achieving our ambitious science-based targets,” says Mark Kline, director, commodities & specialty procurement at The Hershey Co. “The impact of these three solar projects will be equal to taking nearly 79,000* gas-powered vehicles off the road per year.”
Reducing Energy Intensity & Water Use
At Hershey’s headquarters in Hershey, Pa. and in manufacturing facilities around the world, a $3 million investment for energy optimization includes systems to report real-time utility usage data for electricity, natural gas and water. Most of these systems will be installed in U.S. facilities by the end of this year and in international facilities in 2023.
In 2021, the company also invested nearly $1.5 million in high-efficient equipment and adjusted operating procedures to reduce well water usage. These recent environmental investments also help to reduce operating costs. The investment in real-time utility usage data is expected to uncover additional energy saving opportunities and help to reduce the company’s energy intensity by approximately 10 percent over the next five years.
Fighting Deforestation with Climate-Smart Cocoa Practices
Addressing land use change is a significant part of Hershey’s climate action plans. The company is committed to eliminating commodity-driven deforestation from its supply chain by 2030. Through its sustainable cocoa strategy, Cocoa For Good, Hershey supports cocoa farmers through education on income diversification and climate-smart cocoa practices as the risks of climate change loom large for communities in West Africa. In 2021, 41 percent of Cocoa For Good farmers in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana were trained on climate-smart cocoa using a curriculum Hershey helped to develop alongside partners.
Driving the Business through Acting on Climate Change
According to the company, minimizing environmental impact and restoring ecosystems preserves and strengthens resources while fostering sustainable agricultural communities for generations to come.
“Solving daunting issues like the impacts of climate change requires cross-industry collaboration. We are committed to partnering with others to achieve the impact we strive for. We know we don’t have all the answers and our work continues, but are proud of the progress made so far,” Leigh Horner, vice-president of global sustainability and corporate communications at Hershey, says.