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Hershey Sustainability Report: Sets Goals to Cut Water 10%, GHGs 13%

Hershey used its second corporate sustainability report yesterday to publish a set of new sustainability goals including reducing its waste by a quarter, achieving a recycling rate of 85 percent, cutting water consumption by 10 percent and reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 13 percent, all by 2015. All targets will be measured against a 2009 baseline.

The company also pledged to reduce greenhouse emissions in its distribution and transportation operations by 10 percent and attain zero-waste-to-landfill status at five of its plants in that time period.

Hershey 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. In fact it managed to achieve zero waste status at three Pennsylvania plants by February 2011. The plants recycle about 90 percent of the waste generated from operations, and the remainder is converted to energy at nearby waste-to-energy incinerators. The company’s Hershey’s Chocolate World attraction also sends zero-waste-to landfill, the CSR report says.

The overarching waste goal set in 2010 called for the company to reduce waste emanating from its US-based manufacturing operations by 15 percent against the 2008 baseline. Hershey beat this goal substantially, reducing waste production by 23 percent over that time period. In 2010 the company produced 34,450 metric tons of waste. That figure increased to 37,481 metric tons in 2011 – but the 2011 figure does not account for an increase in production and includes feedstock and all other recyclable materials. US operations-wide waste to landfill or incinerator totals declined 29 percent from 10,400 metric tons in 2008 to 7,400 metric tons in 2011, while production increased 19 percent over the same period.

Hershey also had a 2012 target of increasing recycling rates in wholly-owned, US-based manufacturing plants from 72 percent to 80 percent by 2012 against a 2009 baseline. The company met this target in 2011. Two of its plants recycle over 91 percent of their waste.

In the 2010 report the company announced a target of a 15 percent reduction in its greenhouse gas emissions from its wholly-owned US operations over 2008 levels by 2011. It met this target with a 15.2 percent reduction in its 2011 emissions over the 2008 baseline. From 2010 to 2011 the company cut Scope 1 emissions from 117,307.7 metric tons of CO2 to 116,898 metric tons of CO2. When normalized against production the company cut its Scope 1 emissions from 0.131 to 0.125 metric tons of CO2 per metric ton of product produced.

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