The Hershey Company is making progress on its commitment to act on climate change, the company reports, as recent initiatives including the launch of a third utility-scale solar project, energy and water optimisation investments and continued progress addressing land use change.
As stated in its 2021 Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) report, the company reduced its Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 48% and Scope 3 emissions by 18% against a 2018 baseline. Hershey aims to reduce its Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 50% by 25% by 2030.
Hershey and National Grid Renewables announced the company’s 140-megawatt Power Purchase Power Agreement (PPA) for the Copperhead Solar & Storage Project in Texas earlier this month. The project is expected to produce an estimated US$25 million in direct economic impact throughout its first 25 years of operation, including the production of onsite operations jobs and the creation of a charitable fund. This marks Hershey’s third solar PPA and second project with National Grid Renewables.
“Investment in renewable energy is pushing us closer to achieving our ambitious science-based targets,” explained Mark Kline, Director, Commodities & Specialty Procurement at The Hershey Company. “The impact of these three solar projects will be equal to taking nearly 79,000 gas-powered vehicles off the road per year.”
At the company’s headquarters in Pennsylvania and in its manufacturing facilities around the world, a $3 million investment for energy optimisation includes systems to report real-time utility usage data for electricity, natural gas and water. Most of these systems are expected to be installed in US facilities by the end of this year and in international facilities in 2023.
In 2021, Hershey invested almost $1.5 million in high-efficient equipment and adjusted operating procedures to reduce well water usage. Investment in real-time utility usage data is expected to reveal additional energy saving opportunities.
Addressing land use change is a part of the company’s climate action plans as it commits to eliminating commodity-driven deforestation from its supply chain by 2030. Through its sustainable cocoa strategy, Cocoa For Good, it supports cocoa farmers through education on income diversification and climate-smart cocoa practices. In 2021, the company reports that 41% in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana were trained on climate-smart cocoa.
“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,” said Leigh Horner, Vice President of Global Sustainability and Corporate Communications at The Hershey Company.
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