PepsiCo has announced that, by 2020, all of its future point-of-sale equipment purchased in the United States will be free of hydroflourocarbons (HFCs), a popular chemical coolant and considered a potent greenhouse gas (GHG) that contributes to climate change. The announcement was made alongside the company’s 2013 Corporate Sustainability Report and Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) report.
This goal is part of a recently launched partnership with the Obama Administration, along with Coca-Cola, DuPont, Honeywll and other US companies, that aims to reduce global consumption of HFCs by the equivalent of 700 million metric tons of carbon dioxide — or 1.5 percent of the world's 2010 GHG emissions — through 2025.
To meet its goal, PepsiCo will begin purchasing new HFC-free equipment, including coolers, vending machines and fountain dispensers, starting in 2015. The company has already begun to phase out HFCs in its equipment outside of the United States by buying more than 290,000 HFC-free pieces of equipment since 2009, and by using a 100 percent HFC-free insulation/foam for all new equipment. It has also minimized the impact of existing equipment by innovating its coolers and vending machines to improve their energy efficiency by 60 percent compared with a 2004 baseline. These combined efforts have reduced total GHG emissions by 18 percent since 2007.
Along with this goal, PepsiCo also recently became the largest U.S.-based food and beverage industry signatory of the Climate Declaration of the Ceres coalition, Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP). PepsiCo also signed the Prince of Wales' Corporate Leaders Group Trillion Tonne Communique.
According to PepsiCo’s CSR and GRI report, the company has seen a nearly 14 percent improvement in global energy efficiency in 2013 when compared with its 2006 baseline. This change represents progress towards the company’s goal of reducing energy intensity by 20 percent per unit of production by 2015 and is driven by resource conservation initiatives and conversion to renewable forms of energy. In 2013 alone, energy efficiency efforts delivered estimated cost savings of $75 million.
To achieve its goal of sustainable business growth — what the company calls Performance with Purpose — PepsiCo has outlined specific goals that guide its strategy and operations:
- Saving 14 billion liters of water through operational efficiency programs, translating to approximately $15 million in savings; and avoiding $3 million in landfill costs through PepsiCo's Resource Conservation initiatives.
- Increasing the total amount of material recycled to more than 18 million pounds and 324 million containers since 2010.
- Expanding sourcing of certified sustainable agriculture raw materials, including 100 percent of potato and seed growers in Chilecertified to the Rainforest Alliance standards, and achieving one of the first Fairtrade certifications in its category for Naked Coconut Water in the U.S.
On the supply chain front, PepsiCo earlier this year announced it will begin incorporating cashew juice into its blended juice products next spring as part of partnership with the Clinton Foundation, which aims to encourage sustainable agriculture and improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Maharashtra, India. This initiative will apply modern agricultural techniques to improve cashew farming practices, boost yield and productivity, and increase income for local smallholder farmers. It will also scale up and strengthen India’s cashew supply chain to build the future potential of a domestic and export market.
Elsewhere in the beverage industry, Coca-Cola recently announced that its products in the United Kingdom will soon switch to a system of traffic light coded labels and Reference Intakes (RIs) to indicate how much fat, salt and sugar an item contains. This decision reverses the company’s previous position against adopting the UK government’s labeling system, first introduced last year. There has been a steady increase in consumer support for the scheme, with UK customers saying they want a consistent labeling system across all food and drink products.