This article originally appeared on Ramon Laguarta’s Linkedin, follow to stay up-to-date on PepsiCo’s sustainability journey.
There’s no denying it: companies are facing a new business and societal reality. One driven in large part by climate change and inequality. Consumers are more interested in the future of the planet and society. All our stakeholders – consumers, customers, communities, employees – are asking more from us, and rightfully so.
This gives companies like PepsiCo two critical opportunities.
First, by doing what’s right for people and the planet, we have an opportunity to position ourselves as a consistent top market performer, generating stronger, more loyal connections with our consumers and customers; engaging more meaningfully with our associates; and building deeper roots in our communities to help them prosper over the long term.
Second, we also have an opportunity to use our scale – operations in more than 200 countries and territories, more than 25 crops sourced from over 7 million acres in 60 different countries, more than one billion interactions with consumers each day – to help build a more sustainable food system. A system that preserves the planet and positively impacts the people and communities we work with and serve.
To make the most of these opportunities, earlier this month we announced a strategic end-to-end transformation with sustainability at the center of how we will create growth and value by operating within planetary boundaries and inspiring positive change for the planet and people.
We call it pep+ (PepsiCo Positive).
pep+ is the future of our company – our roadmap for becoming the global leader in convenient foods and beverages and a leading actor in the transformation of the global food system. It will guide how we transform our business operations, from sourcing ingredients and making and selling our products in a more sustainable way, to leveraging our more than one billion connections with consumers each day to take sustainability mainstream and engage people to make choices that are better for themselves and the planet
pep+ drives action and progress across three key pillars, bringing together several industry-leading 2030 goals under a comprehensive framework:
1. Positive Agriculture
We are working to spread regenerative practices to restore the Earth across land equal to the company’s entire agricultural footprint (approximately 7 million acres), sustainably source crops and ingredients, and improve the livelihoods of more than 250,000 people in our agricultural supply chain, all by 2030.
2. Positive Value Chain
We are helping to build a circular and inclusive value chain through actions to:
- Achieve Net-Zero emissions by 2040
- Become Net Water Positive by 2030
- Introduce more sustainable packaging into the value chain, like the goal we announced to cut virgin plastic per serving by 50% across our global food & beverage portfolio by 2030¹, using 50% recycled content in our plastic packaging and scaling the SodaStream business globally, among other levers.
- Progress against our $570+ million diversity, equity and inclusion journey.
3. Positive Choices
We are continuing to evolve our portfolio of food & beverage products so that they are better for the planet and people, including by:
- Incorporating more diverse ingredients in both new and existing products that are better for the planet and/or deliver nutritional benefits, prioritizing chickpeas, plant-based proteins and whole grains;
- Expanding our position in the nuts & seeds category, where we are already the global branded leader, including leadership positions in Mexico, China and several Western European markets;
- Accelerating our reduction of added sugars and sodium through the use of science-based targets across the portfolio and cooking our food offerings with healthier oils; and
- Continuing to scale new business models that require little or no single-use packaging, including the global SodaStream business – an icon of a Positive Choice and the largest sparkling water brand in the world by volume. SodaStream, already sold in more than 40 countries, is bringing PepsiCo flavor options like Pepsi Zero Sugar, Lipton and bubly to 23 markets, and the SodaStream Professional platform will expand into functional beverages and reach more than 10 additional markets by the end of 2022, part of the brand’s effort to help consumers avoid more than 200 billion plastic bottles by 2030.
We are proud that some of our most beloved brands are leading the way forward by accelerating their efforts to realize our sustainable packaging vision and leveraging their influence to educate consumers on recycling and the planetary impacts of their choices:
11 European markets are moving key Pepsi-branded² products to 100% rPET bottles by 2022. We estimate that shifting to a 100% rPET bottle will lower GHG emissions by approximately 30% per bottle.
- In the U.S., all Pepsi-branded products will be converted to 100% rPET bottles by 2030, with Pepsi Zero Sugar beginning to be sold in 100% rPET bottles by 2022. The brand is celebrating this important move to sustainable packaging with a new consumer-centric platform leveraging fall football and driving recycling awareness, education and advocacy, which are critical because rPET availability depends on consumers’ commitment to recycling.
- We have been investing in breakthrough food packaging technology, and now we are introducing a fully compostable bag made with plant-based materials. Starting with Off The Eaten Path, this industrially compostable packaging will be available to consumers in the U.S. at Whole Foods stores beginning this month. We also announced that we are willing to work with other companies to license the same technology at no cost given the importance of creating a circular food packaging system.
This is a turning point for PepsiCo. We are confident that we can be both a force for good and a successful, resilient business. We can not only meet the needs of our stakeholders and position ourselves for long-term growth – we can also help build a stronger, more sustainable future for us all.
Click here to read the full pep+ announcement.
¹ Against 2020 baseline.
² Includes Pepsi, Pepsi Max, Pepsi MAX Lime, Pepsi MAX without caffeine, Pepsi Light, Pepsi Light without caffeine.