The Hershey Company announced that three of its manufacturing facilities in Pennsylvania have achieved Zero-Waste-to-Landfill (ZWL) status by eliminating waste, recycling and converting waste to energy. Two of the facilities are in Hershey, Pa., and the third is in Hazleton, Pa.
The company released its first CSR report in September 2010, stating among its objectives the goal to complete waste audits at all of its plants by 2010 and have at least one manufacturing plant with zero waste to landfill by 2012.
The company’s Hazleton plant achieved ZWL status this month. The West Hershey plant became a ZWL facility in October 2011. In 2010, the Reese plant, also located in Hershey, Pa., achieved ZWL status. As well, a $200 million expansion of the West Hershey facility is a zero-waste construction project to be completed later this year.
The plants recycle approximately 90 percent of the waste generated from operations, and the remainder is converted to energy at nearby waste-to-energy incinerators.
The company has added biogas capturing equipment at four of its U.S. facilities including the Hazleton plant. The equipment collects biogas produced through onsite wastewater treatment.
Other sustainability projects include the installation of two sets of solar arrays at facilities in Hershey, Pa., that generate an estimated 318 megawatt-hours (MWh) per year, and a partnership with the Rainforest Alliance to source cocoa from certified farms.
The zero-waste achievement puts Hershey in with a growing number of global brands and businesses adopting zero waste to landfill strategies. Kraft has 36 facilities in 13 countries that send zero waste to landfills. GM increased its count of landfill-free facilities to 76 in about ten years.
Corporations including Wal-Mart, Avon, Heinz, and Boeing are striving toward zero-waste goals.