PepsiCo Touts Water, Energy Savings from 2007

PepsiCo Touts Water, Energy Savings from 2007

In 2007, PepsiCo saved 5 billion liters of water and nearly 500 million kilowatt hours of electricity compared to its resource use in 2006. In its fourth sustainability report, PepsiCo gives some examples of how its operations around the world have reduced, water, fuel and energy use, as well as spread sustainability throughout its supply chain.

For "Our Sustainability Journey," PepsiCo was for the first time able to compare year-to-year energy, water and fuel use for all of its operations, including Frito-Lay North American, Quaker, Tropicana and Gatorade.

In 2007, compared to 2006, PepsiCo reduce water use by about 8 percent, fuel by 6 percent and electricity 7 percent, all per unit of production. The company's long-term goal is to cut water use 20 percent, electricity 20 percent and fuel 25 percent by 2015, compared to 2006.

Some of the company's water-saving measures came as a result of the August 2007 drought in the U.S., when the Gatorade plant in Atlanta, Ga., took steps that saved 290 million liters of water that year. PepsiCo plans to roll out some of the efforts in other plants, including using silicone instead of soapy water to lubricate bottle lines, cleaning empty bottles with ionized air instead of water and reclaiming and reusing steam vapor.

Also on the water front, in 2007 the company piloted a program to help paddy farmers in India use less water by switching from traditional flood irrigation to direct seeding. The program started with 100 acres and expanded to 1,000 acres in 2008. PepsiCo says that if 6,000 acres switch, it would reduce water use by the same amount used by PepsiCo's India beverage plants.

In 2007 the company saw about a 10 percent increase in products that it shipped, but was able to reduce its overall distribution footprint by a little over 4 percent through using lower friction tires, streamlining vehicles, using new trip-planning software and putting in place an comprehensive training program.

To integrate sustainability into large projects, the company has added sustainability criteria to its Capital Expenditure Filter, requiring that all capital expenditure requests over $5 million include a review of sustainability issues and opportunities.

And to spread its efforts beyond its own walls, PepsiCo has started sharing more with supplies, starting up a Resource Conservation Outreach program in 2008 to spread resources, tools and information related to energy reduction. The program started with 12 contract manufacturing partners of Frito-Lay North America and Quaker Foods North America, and is expected to roll out to other partners.

One project that is still on the way is a formal Global Sustainable Agriculture Policy. Various sectors of PepsiCo have already implemented ways to reduce their impact on agriculture. Frito-Lay has potatoes washed at farms so that excess soil is left at the farm and not disposed of in plants' wastewater streams, and it has also been developing more growing areas closer to manufacturing plants to lower transportation impacts.