PepsiCo Inc. just published its 2018 Sustainability Report, outlining the company’s progress against its sustainability goals and announcing a new purpose behind its sustainability agenda: to help build a more sustainable food system.
“As a global food and beverage leader whose products are enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day and that operates an agricultural supply chain touching 60 nations, we undoubtedly have a role to play in addressing the challenges of the modern food system, from climate change and resource scarcity, to packaging waste and income inequality,” said Ramon Laguarta, PepsiCo’s CEO and chairman, in a statement. “As we strive to use our global scale for good, we are deeply committed to accelerating progress in our sustainability agenda.”
PepsiCo’s 2018 Sustainability Report highlights progress and goals in six priority areas where the company believes it can best make a contribution to building a more sustainable food system:
- Agriculture: By working to source ingredients through more sustainable and resilient agriculture, PepsiCo is raising standards for efficient use of resources, environmental consciousness and worker rights on farms around the world. By the end of 2018, more than half of PepsiCo’s direct farmer-sourced agricultural raw materials, such as potatoes, whole corn, oats and oranges, were verified as sustainably sourced through its Sustainable Farming Program. The company continues working toward its target to reach 100 percent by the end of 2020. Already, 100 percent of the chips in the North American Frito-Lay portfolio, including Lay’s and Ruffles, were made from sustainably sourced North American potatoes, noted the company.
- Water: Working to be an even more responsible steward of water across its value chain, PepsiCo said it is focused on improving water-use efficiency in high water-risk farming and manufacturing operations and on replenishing 100 percent of the water it consumes in manufacturing in high water-risk areas by 2025. The company focuses on using its scale and expertise to advocate for policies and practices that protect local watersheds. Additionally, in 2018, the PepsiCo Foundation helped provide safe water access to more than 6 million people—boosting the total number of beneficiaries to 22 million since 2006.
- Packaging: PepsiCo recently announced a new target to reduce 35 percent of virgin plastic content across its beverage portfolio by 2025. The company also aims to use 25 percent recycled content in its plastic packaging by 2025 and 50 percent recycled content in its plastic bottles in the European Union by 2030. Beginning next year, LIFEWTR will be packaged in 100 percent recycled plastic bottles in the U.S. and bubly will be packaged exclusively in aluminum. Additionally, by continuing to advance its “Beyond the Bottle” strategy, most notably through its SodaStream business, the company estimates 67 billion single-use plastic bottles will be avoided through 2025.
- Products: PepsiCo said it continues to improve the choices it offers consumers by reducing added sugars, sodium and saturated fat and expanding its product portfolio with new innovations and acquisitions based on nutritious ingredients. In the U.S. alone, PepsiCo has nearly 500 beverage choices with 100 calories or less per 12-ounce serving, and in 2018 and early 2019 added brands like Bare Snacks and Cytosport (makers of Muscle Milk and EVOLVE Protein) to its portfolio.
- Climate: PepsiCo has set a goal to reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions across its value chain by 20 percent by 2030, from a 2015 baseline. In 2018, PepsiCo reduced Scope 3 emissions (outside the company’s direct operations) by approximately 2.2 million metric tons, in addition to decreasing Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 6.4 percent within its direct operations. From promoting climate-friendly agricultural practices and expanding its fleet of low-carbon vehicles, to expanding its use of renewable energy in its manufacturing operations, PepsiCo said it is driving down emissions throughout its value chain to mitigate the impact of climate change.
- People: As part of its ongoing commitment to increase the earnings potential of women around the world, PepsiCo and the PepsiCo Foundation have invested $27.3 million since 2016 to support initiatives that benefit women in communities where it operates. Women currently comprise 40 percent of PepsiCo managers globally, according to the company.
“I’m proud of our significant progress and the combined efforts of our team, but these efforts are only the beginning—we still have work to do,” continued Laguarta. “Advancing sustainability and being a more purposeful company will play an essential role in PepsiCo’s future. I firmly believe that business leadership in the 21st century must include a responsibility to our planet, our communities and future generations.”
This year’s report is complemented by a Performance Metrics Sheet, which outlines PepsiCo’s year-over-year progress against its sustainability goals.