Hershey Co. is strengthening its commitment to help prevent deforestation in its supply chain.

HERSHEY, PA. — The Hershey Co. is strengthening its commitment to help prevent deforestation in its supply chain with the launch of a comprehensive “Pulp and Paper Policy.” The company also has updated its efforts to trace its global palm oil supply chain.

“Preventing deforestation has never been more important,” said Susanna Zhu, chief procurement officer at Hershey. “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.”

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,” Ms. Zhu said. “Forests also provide habitat for key plant and animal species.”

Hershey also is working to reduce its impact on deforestation by tracing its palm oil supply chain to mills and plantations. As of the second quarter of 2015, Hershey said it has traced its supply chain to approximately 90% of all the mills where the company’s palm oil is processed. Additionally, Hershey said it has achieved 10% traceability of its palm volume to the original palm oil plantations. This is expected to keep Hershey ahead of schedule to deliver planation-level traceability by the end of 2016, the company said.

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, Hershey said. The company said plantation traceability will enhance this effort and provide further insights into the supply chain.