photo: Sean/Creative Commons
Leave aside for the moment the health effects of Pepsi's products, and your rightful concerns about highly-processed food in general, while reading how much Pepsi has done to reduce its environmental impact... Last Friday PepsiCo issued an update on its goals of sending no waste to landfills by 2020, being entirely fossil fuel free by 2023, and making all of its packaging recyclable or biodegradable. Business Green reports that since 2008, PepsiCo has grown by more than 15%, but has reduced overall carbon footprint by 3.7%, reduced total energy use by 7.3%, reduced water use by 14.6%, and cut landfill waste by 88%.
In the next five years, Pepsi intends on working with its farmers to reduce the carbon and water intensity of producing their crops by 50%.
It's all pretty impressive progress, and commitment. President Richard Evans noted,
Building sustainability and health into our corporate DNA creates longer-term strategic advantage. Sustainable businesses can cut costs, drive innovation, reduce risk, and motivate employees. It can help our retail customers and increase consumer loyalty.
Pepsi's Progress Good, Within Certain Boundaries
I don't have much to add to that which won't just sound a bit like sour grapes, but it must be said. As I alluded to in the opening paragraph, I'm not sure that on a personal health level consumption of any of Pepsi's products, particularly the eponymous cola and its potato chips, other than at levels which probably wouldn't keep the company afloat is good. And that doesn't even go into whether giant multinational corporations really are good in any form.
Recycled and recyclable, biodegradable, less carbon intense, less water intense, renewable energy powered, it's all better for the environment that the business heretofore alternatives. But it's only part of the picture.
So kudos to Pepsi for genuinely making a difference within certain parameters. Now let's start think about whether those parameters are the right ones.
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More on Corporate Responsibility:
Abercrombie & Fitch, Weight Watchers & More Make Corporate Responsibility's Black List
Beijing Slams Pepsi and Coke As "Dirty" For Using Too Much Water
Why Bother Chewing? Pepsi Out to 'Snackify' Beverages and 'Drinkifty' Snacks
Walmart Announces They Will Cut 20 Million Tons of Greenhouse Gases From Supply Chain by 2015