Global multinational food, snack, and beverage corporation, PepsiCo, has just released its 2019 Sustainability Report highlighting its progress towards sustainability goals.
PepsiCo’s product portfolio includes a wide range of brands such as Walkers/Lays, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker and Tropicana.
The report shares progress across all of the priority areas PepsiCo believes it can have the most impact on: Agriculture, Water, Climate, Packaging, Products, and People.
The corporation plans to reduce their emission across its value chain. In 2019, PepsiCo reduced its absolute Green House Gas (GHG) emissions by 6%, making significant progress of reducing GHG emissions by 20% before 2030.
Its plan is to play a key role in Europe by achieving climate neutrality by 2050, and is actively engaging in discussions surrounding what measures must be taken to achieve this goal alongside supporting the European Commission’s Green Deal.
“Today’s global environmental and societal pressures are bringing into sharp focus the need for systemic change,” said Ramon Laguarta, PepsiCo’s CEO and Chairman. “As a global food and beverage leader, we have a responsibility to use our scale and influence to help tackle long-term challenges.”
Laguarta explained that, although PepsiCo is making significant progress in solving these challenges, he “knows it will take even more… we are committed to help build a better future for our people and the planet.”
PepsiCo affirmed its plans to accelerate action on climate change by signing the United Nation’s (UN’s) Business Ambition for 1.5°C pledge in April 2020, becoming a part of its long-term strategy for achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.
In 2019 the company worked with over 1500 farmers in Europe to reduce its environmental impact by increasing efficiencies and growing more with fewer resources. New innovations such as PepsiCo’s Precisions Agriculture Technology and the Cool Farm Tool enable farmers to quantify on-farm GHG emissions.
The company continues to work on the technology it co-developed with Cambridge University, UK, allowing farmers to use the latest mobile and web-based capabilities to monitor over 48,000 hectares of potato production.
The crop monitoring system in Europe has been used to track potato varieties and seed supply over the past number of years. The benefits from this program became evident in the 2019 harvesting season, as the company was able to work more closely with local farmers to extend the harvest timeframe and avoid crop loss.
In 2019, PepsiCo achieved 100% renewable electricity in nine European markets – Spain, Belgium, Portugal, Italy, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, Greece, and Poland. This includes on-site solar energy installations and a newly added windmill which will generate approximately 40% of the total site electricity consumption, saving around 4232 tonnes of CO2.
PepsiCo is working to create a circular economy to ensure less of its packaging becomes waste, therefore reducing the carbon intensity of its packaging. PepsiCo’s sustainable plastics vision is based on three interconnected strategies: reducing the amount of plastic it uses, recycling more plastic, and reinventing the plastic packaging it uses.
In 2019, it trialled a process called ‘charge compaction’ which causes snacks to settle to the bottom of the bag during packaging, in turn reducing the amount of packaging used. It is also working to increase the amount of PET used in plastic bottles, with a goal of 50% recycled PET to be included in bottles across the EU by 2030.
“As we look to the decade ahead, global efforts to mitigate climate change and support a more sustainable and inclusive future are more crucial than ever,” said Simon Lowden, PepsiCo’s Chief Sustainability Officer. “It will require agility, collective action, and collaboration. We know building a more resilient food system is possible, and we’ll continue working with partners around the world to catalyse change for a better tomorrow.”