PepsiCo’s water conservation programs have cut company costs by more than $80m between 2011-2015 as part of its larger sustainability initiative that has resulted in $600m in savings over five years in water, energy, packaging and waste reduction.

This year alone, PepsiCo has reduced water usage by approximately 3.2bn litres whilst growing its beverage and snack manufacturing volume. PepsiCo factories in Jordan have reduced operational water use by 40% per production unit since 2006.

PepsiCo Vice Chairman and chief scientific officer for global research and development Dr. Mehmood Khan said: “All across PepsiCo, we continue to find innovative new ways to grow our business while using fewer natural resources—water among them”. 

“Companies have an important role to play in solving global water challenges, and we must continuously seek new ways to apply our unique capabilities and expertise to conserve this most precious resource. 

“By driving down our operational water use and replenishing water within the local watershed, promoting innovative agricultural practices that yield more crop per drop, and enabling access to safe water and sanitation for millions of people, we have achieved important progress and are committed to doing much more in the years ahead.”

Community initiatives

The drinks giant also introduced a number of community projects that have aimed to provide safe water access to water stressed communities as part of the PepsiCo foundation. The foundation has partnered with leading non-profit organisations in order to provide safe water access to nine million people since 2006 – surpassing its original goal of six million.

The water initiatives span across the globe and include: partnering with Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in 2008 to provide water solutions too Latin American and Caribbean communities, supporting iJal – My Water” in Hindi – small water enterprises to provide sustainable water access to 600,000 people in India and partnering with the Nature Conservancy to protect U.S. clean water sources.

The company has also developed a seeding machine to help Indian rice farmers save water in harvesting, saving 10 billion litres of water since 2013.

Outside of water projects, PepsiCo launched the sustainable farming initiative in 2013 which helps growers conduct operations around the world – including UK, US, Chile, Brazil, Argentina and Mexico – in line with the companies social, economic and environmental standards. This has expanded growers in 15 separate countries and helped 28,000 people in the company’s supply chain.

Drinking rivals

PepsiCo’s announcement comes hot on the heels of the news that soft drinks rival Coca-Cola became the first Fortune 500 Company to replenish all of the water it uses globally back to nature and communities.

Coca-Cola announced that it met its 2020 water replenishment goal five years early, and that the company and its bottling partners had also achieved significant progress towards water efficiency goals, increasing water use efficiency by 2.5% from 2014 to 2015 – a 24% rise since 2004.

While PepsiCo and Coca-Cola are often viewed as rivals, the two companies have banded together in order to promote sustainability movements. The two recently paired-up to support a business-led push for global leaders to secure a robust international climate agreement in Paris.

The two companies also joined the likes of Apple and Walmart in pledging $140bn of new low-carbon investment for US President Barack Obama’s Climate Action Plan, in order to cut six billion tonnes of carbon pollution by 2030. 

Alex Baldwin

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