Ratcheting up its focus on sustainability, Hostess Brands has named its first chief sustainability officer. Darryl Riley has been tapped to lead the function, promoted from his most recent role as SVP, quality, food safety and R&D.
In this newly-created position, Riley will expand Hostess Brands’ efforts driving its environmental, social and governance (ESG) objectives and initiatives. He will also spearhead awareness, education, training, and measurement programs that inspire employees to embrace sustainability and further integrate ESG into the company culture.
Riley has been a part of the Hostess team since 2016. Prior to joining the snack food company, he held positions of increasing responsibility at food companies including Kraft Heinz and Kellogg Co. Riley earned his bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
As the CSO, he will report to Andy Callahan, president and CEO of Hostess Brands. “As Hostess Brands continues to focus on building a socially responsible, modern-day snacking powerhouse, we believe dedicating an executive leadership position to sustainability will drive continued progress and integration,” said Callahan. “With his deep industry expertise and operational experience, Darryl is the ideal leader to help us integrate our sustainability-first approach with our sustainable profitable growth mindset.”
Riley is taking on the ESG responsibilities from Mike Cramer, the company's EVP and chief administrative officer who played a key role in establishing Hostess’ corporate sustainability framework since stepping into that role in 2013. Hostess announced that Cramer will continue to be a member of the leadership team, tasked with government and labor relations, mergers and acquisitions and other special projects for the CEO and the board of directors.
“Mike’s contributions to building the modern-day Hostess Brands since our 2013 relaunch under a bold new vision and operating model have been immeasurable, and we are fortunate to have Mike’s knowledge and wisdom as we continue our growth journey,” Callahan remarked.
In its latest corporate responsibility report released in May, Hostess shared several strides that the company is making towards its ESG goals. Among other accomplishments, Hostess reported that it has instituted several employee and culture-enhancing programs designed to attract, develop and retain a high-quality workforce and assembled a diverse, independent board with 67% of members identifying as being from diverse backgrounds. From a sustainability standpoint, Hostess reduced water usage by 25% over the last two years, cut energy use by 14% and lowered greenhouse gas emissions by 19% on a per metric ton of product produced basis. Also last year, the company began working on its first Climate Action Plan to take those efforts to the next level.