PepsiCo lifts lid on fresh green business goals

Global food and beverage company PepsiCo has unveiled a revamped list of climate commitments, incorporating plans to decouple emissions from business growth, have a positive water impact, and achieve zero waste to landfill.

The firm, which owns the Pepsi, Tropicana and Walkers Crisps UK brands among others, today (17 October) announced the set of 18 new targets across the areas of ‘People, Planet and Products’, which have been mapped against the UN’s recently-adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“To succeed in today’s volatile and changing world, corporations must do three things exceedingly well: focus on delivering strong financial performance, do it in a way that is sustainable over time and be responsive to the needs of society,” said PepsiCo chairman and chief executive Indra Nooyi.


Four of PepsiCo’s nine new Planet goals relate to water, with specific targets including replenishing 100% of water used in manufacturing operations within high-water risk areas – a goal that rival beverage manufacturer Coca-Cola has already achieved – and increasing water-use efficiency of its agricultural and manufacturing supply chains by 15% and 25% respectively. The company has also pledged, through the PepsiCo Foundation and its partners, to provide access to safe water to more than 25 million people in the world’s highest water-risk areas by 2025, a continuation of efforts that began in 2006.

During this year’s World Water Week, PepsiCo announced that its water stewardship efforts had led to a 26% reduction in operational water usage since 2006, exceeding an initial 20% goal established in 2006.

On energy, PepsiCo has committed to reduce absolute emissions across its value chain by at least 20% by 2030, through enhanced collaboration with suppliers, business partners and customers to reduce emissions from associated agriculture, packaging and transport. The firm’s latest sustainability report notes that it achieved a slightly more than 4% reduction in absolute GHG emissions for its legacy operations in 2015, compared with a 2008 baseline.

On sourcing, PepsiCo has committed to sustainably source both direct and major non-direct agricultural raw materials by 2020 and 2025, respectively. The firm also intends to invest in the necessary measures to complete its plans to sustainably source 100% of the palm oil and cane sugar it purchases by 2020. This comes after PepsiCo was picked out in a palm oil sourcing report from Greenpeace earlier this year, which claimed that the company has been “failing” onpalm oil sustainability due to slow progress on tracing palm oil to the mill and a lack of meaningful action to reduce product exposure to deforestation.

Waste targets then include achieving zero-waste to landfill in direct operations and reducing food waste generated across PepsiCo’s direct operations by 50%, as well as designing 100% of packaging to be recoverable or recyclable materials by 2025.

People and Products

Within the People and Products sections of the new sustainability agenda, notable targets include reducing the amount of sugar in soft drinks, expanding a sustainable farming initiative, and investing $100m in partnership with the PepsiCo Foundation to support initiatives to benefit 12.5 million women and girls around the world.

These new targets continue PepsiCo’s decade-long commitment to delivering ‘Performance with Purpose’, the firm’s CSR strategy launched in 2006.

Alex Baldwin

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