The Hershey Company Thursday made new commitments to help prevent deforestation in its supply chain by launching a comprehensive Pulp and Paper Policy and announcing an update on its efforts to trace its global palm oil supply chain.
“Preventing deforestation has never been more important,” said Susanna Zhu, Chief Procurement Officer at The Hershey Company. “We continue to learn more about the geography of our palm oil supply chain and are having productive conversations with suppliers about our expectations. While we’re pleased with our palm oil sustainable sourcing progress so far, we know there is more work to be done. This effort, along with our Pulp and Paper Policy, will help us continue to ensure that we’re achieving our high sustainable sourcing standards.”
During the past 50 years, about half of the world’s original forest cover has been lost. Pulp and paper, as well as palm oil production, have been recognized as contributing factors to deforestation.
The new Hershey Pulp and Paper Policy outlines the company’s commitment to ensure that the virgin fiber in any pulp and paper sourced by the company comes from sources that meet strict criteria, including protecting areas of high conservation value, respecting indigenous rights and verification through third-party due-diligence systems.
“Forests are critical parts of our natural ecosystem, serving as important reservoirs of greenhouse gases that would otherwise contribute to climate change,” added Zhu. “Forests also provide habitat for key plant and animal species.”
Beyond pulp and paper sourcing, Hershey’s additional efforts to reduce its impact on deforestation include the company’s ongoing work with The Forest Trust (TFT) to trace its palm oil supply chain to mills and plantations.
As of the second quarter of 2015, Hershey has traced its supply chain to approximately 90 percent of all the mills where the company’s palm oil is processed. Additionally, Hershey has achieved 10 percent traceability of its palm volume to the original palm oil plantations.
These results keep Hershey ahead of schedule to deliver planation-level traceability by the end of 2016.
Mapping to the mill level is especially important because of the nature of palm oil harvesting. Fresh palm fruit bunches, which the palm tree produces, must arrive at a mill for processing within 24 hours in order to ensure good quality.
Due to regional transportation constraints, tracing to a mill’s location can be a strong indicator of where palm oil was harvested, thus providing an opportunity to review whether there are social or environmental risks in the region.
Plantation traceability will enhance this effort and allow Hershey further insights into this complex supply chain.
The mapping work is also helping to clarify the level of cooperation needed from palm oil suppliers for Hershey to achieve its responsible sourcing goals and to maintain compliance with Hershey’s Responsible Palm Oil Sourcing Policy.The Hershey Company will continue to provide updates on these efforts to prevent deforestation in its supply chain, both through our company website and our annual Corporate Social Responsibility reports.