PepsiCo extends innovation fund to educational institutions

PepsiCo's recycling branch has announced plans to expand its college and university eco-innovations programme through its Zero Impact Fund, where educational institutions can receive up to $10,000 from PepsiCo to support sustainable initiatives.

Eligible colleges and universities will have the opportunity to submit sustainability project proposals to PepsiCo Recycling that present tangible environmental, economic and social impacts. The proposals will also need to demonstrate the ingenuity, scalability and evident student community support for the proposed project to receive funding.

PepsiCo recycling programme director Meagan Smith said: “Great ideas can from anyone, and we want to empower our college partners by giving them the right resources to lead by example… We hope that they’re able to implement small, but impactful sustainability initiatives that inspire other universities to do the same.”

Schools will have until 1 November 2016 to submit proposals to the PepsiCo recycling website after which a committee will evaluate them based upon the above criteria. Selected institutions will be notified on 23 November and will receive funding starting from January 2017.

Since 2010, PepsiCo Recycling has partnered with over 100 colleges and universities to support campus recycling programmes, providing more than $70,000. The company also offers resources to university waste reduction and campus community efforts.

Waste and water

The pledge follows PepsiCo’s recent water stewardship efforts, which have led to a 26% reduction in operational water usage since 2006, exceeding its previously established 20% goal. Around 3.2bn litres of water were saved last year alone, despite growing manufacturing operations.

However, with previous sustainability reports highlighting the need to improve waste management standards at the company, PepsiCo Recycling will be hoping that innovative methods submitted to the Zero Impact Fund can translate across internal operations.

PepsiCo’s latest CSR efforts signify the importance of both water and waste management. With the 16-19 September marking the Marine Conservation Society’s (MCS) Great British Beach Clean, the relationship between waste and water will be examined further.

MCS will team with Children’s University Scotland (CUS) and the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) to encourage local school children to attend a beach clean at Portobello Beach in Edinburgh.

RZSS will act as an educational platform, and will extend its Wild about Scotland insight programme to the children that attend. The campaign will aim to teach the children about the importance of conserving Scottish wildlife, which is in need of support from both the public and private sectors.

Alex Baldwin & Matt Mace

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