USA – American chocolate manufacturer, The Hershey Company has announced new sustainability commitments and initiatives in resolve to protect the environment from industrial practices.

The company has joined the Science Based Targets initiative, part of strategy to elevate its environmental stewardship in doing business while preserving the community and the planet we live in.

This is a way to enhance sustainable growth through initiatives that set targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions using climate science approach.

The Science Based Targets initiative champions science-based target setting as a powerful way of boosting companies’ competitive advantage in the transition to the low-carbon economy.

It is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), World Resources Institute (WRI), and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and one of the We Mean Business Coalition commitments.

Hershey said it has established a new environmental policy that involves developing science-based targets through a two-year period, with a goal to reduce the company’s environmental footprint.

The company has also joined the United Nations Global Compact, a voluntary initiative that encourages businesses from around the world to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies and to report on their implementation.

“Hershey has long demonstrated its belief that business has a responsibility to help protect our communities and the planet we all share.

Together, these strategic environmental policies and initiatives will further strengthen how Hershey operates, creating a positive social impact from farm to finished product,” said Michele Buck, Hershey CEO.

This forms part of the sustainable cocoa programme announced last year, with a goal to invest up to US$500 million by 2030 to address the issues of poverty, vulnerable ecosystems and poor nutrition.

It follows the strategic alliance between Hershey, USDA and cocoa supplier ECOM to enhance sustainability in Ghana’s cocoa value chain, that is strengthen land rights and protect forests.

“Protecting forests and preserving the natural resources of the cocoa-growing areas here in West Africa is good for society and the bottom line,” said Jeff King, Hershey senior director of global sustainability and social impact.

“Our commitment to forest protection aligns perfectly with our sourcing partners in the region and we know that by combining resources we will have greater impact on these communities and surrounding landscapes.”