Hershey Sweetens Its Corporate Sustainability Efforts with “25 by 25” Plan

Lisa Markowski for Zondits

Although those “fun size” wrappers seem like inefficient packaging, The Hershey Company has earned a pass this Halloween in light of its ambitious plan to strengthen an already impressive culture of environmental consciousness. In 2016 the chocolate giant announced its 25 by 25 corporate sustainability campaign, in which it aims to eliminate 25 million pounds of packaging by 2025. According to Hershey’s 2016 Corporate Sustainability Report, they are ahead of schedule.

The other “25s” in this efficiency effort include reducing water consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and total generated waste, all by 25%. The company is also adding more electric vehicles to its fleet and offsetting its carbon footprint by increasing its purchase of carbon credits. The benchmark for these goals is Hershey’s 2015 statistics in these categories.

Founder Milton Hershey began recycling packaging waste in 1937, decades before municipal recycling programs became commonplace. This corporate consciousness has endured in the candy company’s culture. By the end of 2016, Hershey had established 10 zero-waste-to-landfill facilities in the US and one in Mexico, while striving toward its ultimate goal of zero-waste status.

The Hershey Company released the following statement to Zondits:

Hershey has been proudly committed to protecting the environment since the early 20th century. This legacy traces back to our founder, Milton Hershey, who established some of the most progressive operating standards of his time, including our company’s first recycling center to reuse manufacturing waste in the 1930s.

Today, we are building on this legacy by minimizing the environmental impact of our operations and addressing the challenges of climate change by going beyond just complying with all regulations and aiming to set higher standards. We believe this philosophy is good for our business and communities.  

Our ambitious “25 by 25” goals are the latest expression of how we value the limited natural resources of our planet and we work hard to use them responsibly while minimizing our impact on the environment. For example, in 2015 we joined more than 150 companies in signing the American Business Act on Climate Pledge to demonstrate our support for action on climate change. We are proud of these commitments and will continue to push our business to make our operations even more efficient in the years ahead.

Building on Heritage of Environmental Stewardship

The Hershey Company

Decades before recycling common practice, our founder, Milton Hershey established the company’s first recycling center in Hershey, Pennsylvania for manufacturing waste. We have continued this tradition, finding new ways to reuse material and reduce overall waste.

Our Environmental Goals
We have committed to a broad range of goals to reduce our environmental impact. Hershey pledges to:

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2025, based on 2015 levels
  • Expand the utilization of electric vehicles in our corporate fleet, and continue to purchase carbon credits to offset unavoidable emissions in our sales and corporate fleet of vehicles while concurrently reducing these emissions
  • Reduce packaging waste 25 million pounds by 2025 based on 2015 levels
  • Reduce total waste generated 25 percent by 2025
  • Reduce total water consumption by an additional 25% by 2025
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