PepsiCo Recycling just announced the 27 colleges and universities set to earn funding for campus sustainability initiatives in the 2018-19 school year through the company’s Zero Impact Fund (ZIF). Among the most unique projects in this year’s winning group include entries from Georgia College & State University, UNC Charlotte, Furman University, Centre College, Otterbein University and Ohio University.
Now in its third year, the ZIF allows representatives or employees of eligible colleges or universities to submit proposals to create or strengthen green initiatives on campus. A judging panel then votes on the most impactful projects, with winners receiving up to $10,000 toward making those ideas a reality.
After announcing its commitment to expand the program last October, PepsiCo Recycling is doubling the number of grants this year compared to previous years, supporting initiatives to redistribute food waste, produce cleaner energy, improve campus recycling infrastructure and more.
“At PepsiCo, we believe that building a circular economy is the key to a sustainable future,” said Tom Mooradian, manager of Environmental Sustainability, in a statement. “It’s hard to picture on a global scale, but that’s what makes ZIF projects so powerful: build a green roof or a circular system for food waste on a college campus, and you see its impact immediately. We’re empowering students to bring their visions to life at a local level and create precedent for sustainable change in wider society.”
PepsiCo Recycling is committed to helping colleges and universities pursue projects that will have long-term impacts on their communities, with the ultimate goal of closing the loop between environmental sustainability and economic stability. Many of this year’s winning projects tackle this exact issue, for instance:
- The winning entry from Georgia College & State University proposes the installation of a multi-material recycling baler on campus, removing the need for any offsite facilities and potentially reducing annual recycling costs by more than 43 percent.
- Students at Furman University proposed a circular model to their catering service, enhancing food recovery and redistribution to tackle food insecurity and diverting waste materials to their campus farm.
Launched in August 2016, ZIF has gained momentum with each year of the program, enabling PepsiCo Recycling to develop ongoing partnerships with participating colleges and universities. This is the third year in a row that Centre College in Kentucky was recognized by the program, with funds being used to expand a network of solar panels on campus.