Pepsi and the Environment

GOING GREEN: Pepsi’s recycling rewards program allows consumers to recycle bottles and cans at electronic kiosks in return for prizes. (Photo: Richard Drew/AP).

Pepsi is committed to the environment and focuses its sustainability efforts in three key areas: water, packaging and energy.

According to PepsiCo’s 2009 Environmental Sustainability Annual Report, the company promises to protect the Earth’s natural resources through innovation and more efficient use of land, energy, water and packaging in its operations.


When it comes to water conservation, Pepsi pledges to improve its water efficiency by 20 percent per unit of production in 2015, and the company is well on its way to achieving this goal. In 2009, PepsiCo saved more than 11 billion liters of water through eco-efficiency improvements, and it began innovative environmental practices, such as cleaning Gatorade bottles with purified air instead of rinsing them with water. The air purification process worked so well, in fact, that Pepsi is spreading the technique to its bottling plants worldwide, saving billions of liters of water.

Pepsi is also conserving water and protecting the environment by equipping some of its facilities with state-of-the-art water filtration and purification systems. This technology has allowed its Casa Grande, Ariz., plant to reuse 80 percent of the water used in production. And in 2009, Pepsi’s Gatorade plant in Mexico City collected 640,000 liters of water.


Pepsi’s eco-friendly packaging improvements are further proof of the company’s commitment to the environment. In fact, Pepsi continues to lead the industry by incorporating at least 10 percent recycled polyethylene terephthalate in its drink containers in the U.S. For years, PepsiCo has strived to create thin, lightweight containers that are easily compatible with U.S. recycling systems.

Pepsi, in partnership with Waste Management Inc, is also producing new electronic recycling kiosks to encourage consumers to recycle. Beginning in May 2010, people will be able to scan their bottles and cans at machines, and they'll receive points they can put toward prizes like restaurant discounts.

Frito-Lay, a division of PepsiCo, recently launched an environmentally friendly snack package on its Sunchips brand, which is fully compostable and made from 90 percent plant-based material. According to the company's 2009 Environmental Sustainability Annual Report, the division decreased its waste by more than 45 percent from 2007 to 2009 by encouraging employees to perform dumpster dives to sort through waste and repurpose it. Pepsi employees were able to reuse waste for everything from chicken feed to handbags.


Pepsi is also seeking to improve its energy consumption and reduce its carbon footprint by encouraging good environmental practices. In 2009, Pepsico pledged to improve its electricity use efficiency by 20 percent per unit of production by 2015, and the company is well on its way to meeting this goal. For example, Pepsi recently completed lighting upgrade projects at 110 distribution centers, which conserved more than 6 million kilowatt-hours of electricity.

Pepsi’s 2009 Environmental Sustainability Annual Report also promised that the company would reduce its fuel use intensity by 25 percent per unit of production by 2015. And PepsiCo stated that it would reduce its U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent through its partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Climate Leaders Program.

In 2010, the EPA awarded PepsiCo a an ENERGY STAR “Sustained Excellence Award” in recognition of the company’s commitment to protecting the environment through energy efficiency. This marks the fourth consecutive year that Pepsi, an ENERGY STAR partner since 2004, has received this environmental honor.

Pepsi also continues to “design for green from the start” ever since it introduced new sustainability engineering guidelines that apply to all new construction projects worldwide. The company has committed to an absolute reduction of greenhouse gas emissions across global operations, and it has increased its number of LEED-certified buildings. PepsiCo recently had five more buildings LEED certified, including its first platinum LEED certification.