The Hershey Co. announced two more of its plants have achieved Zero-Waste-to-Landfill (ZWL) status. The company now has six U.S. plants that no longer dispose routine waste into landfills.
With the addition of the Y&S Plant in Lancaster, Pa., and the Robinson Plant in Robinson, Ill., The Hershey Co. has exceeded its goal to convert five plants to ZWL by 2015 well ahead of schedule.
“This achievement reflects Hershey’s unwavering commitment to reduce our environmental impact while continuing to manufacture the highest quality confections,” said Terence O’Day, senior vice president and chief supply chain officer, The Hershey Co. “Converting plants to ZWL is challenging, but our plant employees have shown how deeply dedicated they are to environmental stewardship. They have worked extremely hard to reach this important milestone.”
To achieve ZWL status, Hershey’s manufacturing facilities have both reduced their overall waste streams and increased recycling rates to approximately 90%. All remaining waste is sent to nearby waste-to-energy incinerators, eliminating the need for landfill disposal. These incinerators produce energy, which also reduces overall reliance on fossil fuels.
Hershey now has eight facilities that have achieved ZWL status:
• Hazleton Plant (Hazleton, Pa.)
• Reese Plant (Hershey, Pa.)
• West Hershey Plant (Hershey, Pa.)
• Y&S Plant (Lancaster, Pa.)
• Robinson Plant (Robinson, Ill.)
• Stuarts Draft (Stuarts Draft, Va.)
• Hershey’s Chocolate World (Hershey, Pa.)
• Eastern Distribution Center III (Palmyra, Pa.)
The Hershey Co. has been a sustainability leader for decades. Founder Milton Hershey started the company’s first recycling center in Hershey, Pa., in 1937, long before recycling was a common practice. To further reduce its carbon footprint, the company has also added biogas-capturing equipment at four of its U.S. facilities. By utilizing this energy-conversion equipment, the four facilities are less reliant on fossil fuels for energy. Two sets of solar arrays at facilities in Hershey, Pa., also contribute to reducing Hershey’s environmental footprint. The Hershey solar arrays eliminate more than 200 metric tons of greenhouse gases each year. The amount of greenhouse gases eliminated by these arrays is equivalent to taking approximately 50 cars off the road each year.
The Hershey Co. is continuously advancing its environmental sustainability programs and seeking innovative approaches to reduce waste and the environmental impact at all of its facilities around the world. The company’s management encourages employees to continue to look for new solutions for waste management and recycling.