Understanding PepsiCo's progress against our sustainability agenda requires that we capture performance data across our global operations. This encompasses numerous metrics that are utilized and disclosed in varying ways, including in our annual sustainability reporting and in our other public reports and public statements. Our engagement activities have been a key way we receive valuable feedback from our shareholders and other stakeholders who provide external viewpoints that inform our decisions and our strategy and enhance our public reporting.
We report our sustainability data externally to inform our stakeholders about PepsiCo's performance, demonstrate transparency, and share progress towards our goals. This information is used by sustainability rating and ranking groups, investors, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), customers, and consumers as part of their decision-making about investments, partnerships, and purchases. Internally, we use performance data to inform our sustainability strategy and to prioritize investments and other actions that we believe will help us meet our sustainability goals. For all these reasons, we recognize that it is critically important that the data we provide is accurate and fulsome.
A dedicated team within PepsiCo’s Sustainability Office manages the data governance structure underpinning each of our sustainability goals, ensuring accuracy, consistency, and precision of the data, while driving accountability amongst our 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 documented sustainability data governance calculation method.
- 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 annual sustainability report and certain other public disclosures before publication.
In addition to our internal review process, some focus areas - including water, climate, energy, and product portfolio metrics - are reviewed and verified by external third parties annually. Assurance statements are available for download on their relevant topic pages.
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 new 2030 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. Through 2021, we focused on streamlining the data collection process for Packaging, Agriculture, and Third Party Logistics— some of the biggest drivers of our environmental footprint. 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.
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.
Reporting framework evaluation
The ESG reporting frameworks used by investors, rating agencies, NGOs and others to evaluate companies continues to expand in number and complexity. PepsiCo aims to meet the information requirements of our key stakeholders and we regularly evaluate our reporting suite to maximize our alignment.
As a result of these assessments, we aligned our reporting with the Task Force for Climate-Related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) and the relevant S SASB (Sustainability Accounting Standards Board) Food and Beverage Sector Standards in 2021.
Each year, PepsiCo’s Sustainability Office works with relevant executives and content specialists to review our data gathering processes and procedures and associated controls.
We continue to build capability to increase confidence in data across our value chain. This includes extending new tracking tools and methodologies to 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. 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.