Data integrity is vital to maintaining the trust between PepsiCo and its stakeholders. It also enables us to accurately track and report progress against our goals with consistent, comparable and reliable data.
To the World:
Investors, customers and other stakeholders increasingly use the sustainability data we publish to evaluate our performance and make decisions on their relationships with us. They need to be able to rely on the accuracy and completeness of our data when making these decisions. Sound data governance enables this.
Understanding our progress against our pep+ (PepsiCo Positive) agenda requires that we capture performance data across our global operations. This encompasses numerous metrics that are used internally and disclosed externally in varying ways.
Our external sustainability reporting covers sustainability data to inform our stakeholders about our performance, demonstrate transparency and share progress towards our goals. Our stakeholders use this information to make decisions about investments, partnerships, employment and purchases. These stakeholders include:
- sustainability rating and ranking groups;
- current and potential employees;
- non-governmental organizations (NGOs);
- customers; and
Internally, we use performance data to inform our future sustainability strategy, gauge progress and performance on existing goals and prioritize investments and other actions that we believe will help us meet our sustainability goals.
A dedicated team within PepsiCo’s Global Sustainability Office manages the data governance structure underpinning each of our sustainability goals, aiming to ensure accuracy and consistency of the data, while driving accountability amongst our sector and local teams. This team works closely with partners across the company to gather information according to an established methodology and governance process. Targeted training helps to instill an understanding of the importance of following this process and ultimately delivering accurate sustainability data and reporting.
Data governance includes documenting the processes and methodologies we use to gather and aggregate data in a way that is consistent and repeatable. This allows us to accumulate year-over-year metrics to identify trends and long-term progress. For more detail on how we calculate key performance metrics, see Calculation methodology. Before sustainability performance is communicated externally, it undergoes a thorough review and validation process:
- Sustainability office review and validation: Data files are reviewed by the dedicated Data Governance team to ensure information has been gathered in accordance with our topic-specific documented sustainability data governance calculation methods. The data governance documentation identifies specified controls throughout the data collection process.
- Subject matter expert review and certification: Subject matter experts certify that data is accurate and complete and fulsome. This occurs at multiple levels throughout the organization, from those who manage the primary data sources to executives who review at the regional and global levels. This approach drives consistent accountability across all sustainability goals.
- Corporate control review: Our Corporate Control team reviews sustainability information to confirm that financial, sustainability and other claims specific to PepsiCo are accurate, fulsome and appropriately described.
- Legal review: PepsiCo’s Corporate Legal team and legal subject matter experts review the proposed disclosure to ensure it is accurate and appropriate.
- Disclosure Committee review: PepsiCo's Disclosure Committee (comprised of executive leadership) and relevant senior leaders review our ESG Summary, Green Bond Use of Proceeds report and certain other public disclosures before publication.
In addition to our internal review process, some focus areas—including water, climate, energy, packaging and product portfolio metrics—are reviewed and verified annually by external third-parties. Assurance statements are available for download on their relevant topic pages. For more detail on our approach to assurance, including a list of independently-verified metrics, see About our reporting.
We regularly review and enhance our data management process to identify and implement improvements to build on the strong data governance foundation we already have in place.
PepsiCo’s aim to set science-based targets underpins the 2025, 2030 and 2040 goals in our pep+ ambitions. We expect to refine our targets in line with the latest environmental science and continue to enhance our data governance processes as required to maintain confidence in our ESG reporting.
With a vast and complex performance data set, we continue to invest in technical solutions to efficiently capture, consolidate and validate the data we use to measure and report performance against goals. We are streamlining and automating manual processes to improve reliability and efficiency.
These investments, paired with our continued commitment to sound data governance, support our drive for continual improvement. In 2020, we began work on our data accelerator program, working to further enhance how we efficiently capture and calculate data for our key sustainability initiatives. In 2021, we evolved our governance framework to align with new pep+ targets and goals by documenting controls for data collection processes and centralizing validation efforts, thereby continuing to strengthen the rigor of our reporting. In 2022, we began the process of migrating our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions calculation engine to a new platform for more robust processing of our data. In addition, we continued to work closely with our third-party manufacturers to set up processes to collect certain sustainability data efficiently, including on GHG emissions and water use. Going forward, we will continue to combine the work within the data accelerator with our governance processes to ensure continued reliability in our sustainability disclosures and accuracy as we work to meet our pep+ ambitions.
Starting in 2022, PepsiCo has dedicated resources to assessing the evolving ESG mandatory reporting space considering new standards released in the EU and multiple other jurisdictions. With that in mind, we are taking a fresh look at our resources, data systems and information governance to support our readiness for compliance with global regulations.
We have also deployed a digitized platform enabling internal global collaboration for sustainability reporting. This simplifies reporting processes, delivers increased security and accessibility and enhances our governance and certification documentation.
Each year, PepsiCo’s Global Sustainability Office works with relevant executives and content specialists to review our data gathering processes and procedures and associated controls, and we expect to make incremental improvements and adjustments as necessary in response to factors like new systems and technologies.
We continue to build capability to increase confidence in data across our value chain. This includes extending new tracking tools and methodologies to priority areas previously not measured. We believe this ongoing work is critical to maintaining the relevancy and reliability of our reporting processes.
One example of how we're leveraging technology to improve our data integrity is through an automated controls framework to review, monitor and evaluate some of our sustainability data to identify unexpected values and flag entries requiring further interrogation. By using technology to automate a formerly manual process, we are improving efficiency, increasing data confidence and significantly reducing the time required to review sustainability information.
We are seeing increased calls for enhanced reporting, including in the U.S. and EU. We continue to monitor the regulatory environment and remain committed to delivering transparent and stakeholder-centric reporting as we work towards achieving our pep+ ambitions.