The Hershey Company has decreased energy use by nearly 10 percent in its manufacturing and distribution facilities since 2008, according to the candy maker’s first corporate social responsibility (CSR) report.
Hershey’s CSR Report outlines the company’s priorities and programs and sets goals in four areas: marketplace (including fair and ethical business dealings), environment, workplace, and community.
Here are highlights in the environmental area.
Starting in 2007, Hershey initiated a company-wide reduction of its energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through the adoption of more efficient technologies and conservation measures. Some of those projects include more efficient lighting, wastewater treatment plant biogas recovery, and improved compressed-air, boiler control and boiler stack economizer systems at several plants.
Hershey also implemented a lighting efficiency program at all plants and distribution centers. The company reduced energy consumption from lighting by more than 50 percent, which represents an annual reduction of more than 20,500 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
Through some of those energy-saving initiatives, the company reduced energy use in its U.S. manufacturing plants and distribution centers by 9.55 percent and achieved an annual savings of $3.9 million from 2007 to 2009 on a total investment of approximately $9.6 million.
Hershey also set several environmental targets, which include reducing GHG emissions at its U.S. manufacturing plants 15 percent from primary sources or energy conservation by 2011 from its baseline year of 2008, as well as cutting water use and waste generated 15 percent by 2011.
The company also wants to complete waste audits at all of its Hershey plants by 2010, increase waste recycling in manufacturing plants from 72 percent in 2009 to 80 percent by 2012, and have at least one manufacturing plant with zero waste to landfill by 2012.
The company also is working to reduce overall truck hauls, fuel use and vehicle emissions in its North American transport operations. Through its Project Overdrive initiative, which began in November 2008 and scheduled for full implementation in 2011, Hershey has reduced fuel consumption in its transport operations in 2009 by 1.3 million gallons of diesel fuel and CO2 emissions by 5,216 metric tons, saving $6.2 million.
The company also reduced idle time by 4,800 hours in 2009, saving 300 gallons of fuel, reducing CO2 emissions by three metric tons, and saving more than $300,000 thanks to its rapid unloading program, which allows suppliers’ trucks to trailer-drop or unload rapidly. Hershey is also a partner in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay program.
Hershey has a sustainable packaging strategy that includes baseline goals forreducing the amount of packaging materials it uses and using more sustainable materials, such as paper certified to Forest Stewardship Council or Sustainable Forestry Initiative standards.
As an example, over the past four years, Hershey has reduced the overall weight of its recyclable 22-ounce Hershey’s Syrup bottles by 7.6 percent through a redesign of the bottle cap and removing material from the body of the bottle. These changes eliminated the need for 12.5 metric tons of high-density polyethylene in 2009 alone.
Hershey has completed waste-reduction assessments at seven of its manufacturing locations in the United States in 2009. The manufacturing plants that underwent assessments reduced their waste by 1,270 metric tons, or 11 percent, in 2009 versus 2008.
Hershey also updated its Supplier Code of Conduct to help ensure that its suppliers act within acceptable environmental standards. The revised Supplier Code addresses resource conservation, reduction of GHG and other emissions, energy use and wastewater and solid waste management.
Hershey also notes that it buys all of its palm oil, which is used in its chocolate products, from suppliers that are members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).