Customers and communities across the world led initiatives both small and large with the common goal of producing positive change.
From students in grade schools making recycling the talk of the town, to social media users donating thousands of pounds of fruit and vegetables with a click of their cameras, the recurring theme of 2017 was the power of numbers.
Through our Performance with Purpose work, we’ve continued to find ways to partner with communities to have a positive influence on global challenges, whether that’s to reduce carbon emissions, to recycle more and waste less, or to help feed those in need.
Here’s a look at five ways we teamed up in 2017, and what we achieved together.
1. Recycling over 46 million bottles and cans.
As of November, students, teachers, and community members had collected 46,858,173 beverage containers through our nationwide Recycle Rally competition — and that number is expected to grow as final tallies for December are made. The contest, which PepsiCo launched in 2010, challenges K through 12 schools across the United States to collect recyclables, and it awards those who bring in the most with cash prizes that can be used to improve their campuses. What started with a handful of schools in the first year of the program has grown to include over 4,000 schools and many thousands of students this past year.
2. Helping farmers in India save water.
In 2016, farmers in Maharashtra, India, replaced flood irrigation with drip irrigation on more than 2,600 acres, thanks to PepsiCo’s Sustainable Farming Initiative (SFI), which is designed to help farmers use less water and still get more crops from their efforts. Drip irrigation is less water intensive than flood irrigation, which is a traditional way of watering crops. Implementing drip irrigation helped growers in India save over 800 million liters of water in 2016, and more growers implemented the water-saving practice this year. Through SFI, some direct growers also receive efficient irrigation equipment to help convert their farms to more sustainable processes. Between 2013 and 2016, SFI has been implemented in 33 countries with active programs representing over 35,000 farmers.
3. Bringing light to communities without electricity.
Using recycled plastic bottles, water, bleach, and a piece of metal, this year community volunteers around the world learned how to create inexpensive bottle lights that illuminate communities through the Liter of Light program, which provides affordable solar-powered light to those with limited or no access to electricity. The bottle lights are placed in the roofs of homes and refract sunlight, producing up to 55 watts of clear light and acting as a light bulb without electricity. Liter of Light helps install a variety of lighting solutions, including versions with small solar panels to provide light at night to increase community safety. Through a multi-year collaboration with PepsiCo, hundreds of thousands of lights have been installed in communities in India, Malaysia, Colombia, Egypt, the Philippines, Pakistan, and elsewhere. Even better, Liter of Light trains many young people and members of women-run cooperatives how to build their own lights, the sales of which create a revenue source for these entrepreneurs.
4. Sending 500,000 pounds of fruit and vegetables to neighbors in need.
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram users joined Naked Juice’s “Drink Good. Do Good.” campaign by posting selfies with a fruit or vegetable this year. For every selfie shared with the hashtag #DrinkGoodDoGood, Naked Juice donated 10 pounds of produce to Wholesome Wave, an organization that helps create affordable access to fresh, local food for those in need. Naked Juice kicked off the program this year by donating 250,000 pounds of produce to Wholesome Wave. Thanks in part to consumers’ selfies, Wholesome Wave received 500,000 pounds of fruit and vegetables to distribute to communities in the U.S. that need them — bringing the total donation since the program was introduced five years ago to 4,000,000 pounds of produce.
5. Eliminating 14.8 tons of carbon dioxide emissions in just seven weeks.
In the first seven weeks after Centre College installed new solar panels this fall, the college eliminated 14.8 tons of CO2 emissions — that’s roughly twice the amount emitted by the average American car in a year, according to the Environmental Defense Fund. The liberal arts college in Danville, Kentucky, was one of eight schools to win grants from PepsiCo Recycling through the Zero Impact Fund, a program designed to help U.S. colleges and universities create or strengthen green initiatives on their campuses. The solar panels at Centre College were the first segment of what will eventually become a 20kW solar photovoltaic system that will help the school reduce greenhouse gas emissions campus-wide. Centre College’s alumni got in on the campaign, too, by adding donations to supplement the grant and help make the first installation larger than initially planned.