Sustainability Focus Area
Across our business and throughout our complex global value chain, PepsiCo is helping to build diverse, equitable and inclusive workplaces, and investing to support prosperity in local communities.
From growing and harvesting ingredients to loading a truck or stocking shelves, we rely on PepsiCo associates, suppliers, farmers, retail and franchise partners and many others to make, move and sell our products. We are committed to respecting the rights of these workers and making sure these are jobs that support families and build strong communities.
In this extraordinary time of the COVID-19 pandemic and heightened awareness of societal injustice, we made extensive efforts to ensure the safety and well-being of our more than 290,000 associates, and to support diversity, equity and inclusion while helping those in need in the communities we serve throughout the world.
“When COVID-19 swept across America, PepsiCo’s Food for Good was on the front lines, ensuring that our most isolated children in need had nutritious meals delivered to their doorsteps. Their partnership was a powerful force for good in the lives of kids that may have otherwise been left behind.”
—Brandon Lipps, Former Deputy Under Secretary, United States Department of Agriculture
Community Support During COVID-19
Protecting our frontline
Ensuring safety during COVID-19
As COVID-19 spread throughout the world in 2020, PepsiCo took proactive steps, grounded in science, to protect the safety of our products, care for our more than 290,000 associates and their families, and support our communities around the world.
As a company, we are practicing social distancing at all our facilities around the world. Throughout the pandemic, until local conditions allowed a return to the office, PepsiCo asked all associates who could perform their work remotely to do so. Those associates in offices and facilities continue to adhere to local and federal government social distancing guidelines. In all our facilities throughout the world, we have increased cleaning frequency and re-emphasized the importance of proper handwashing.
We have also expanded the availability of hand sanitizer in our facilities, physically separated workstations and provided masks for all frontline employees.
No one can take the place of our associates, especially those of our frontline associates who are continuing to make, move and sell our products and keep supermarket and grocery shelves stocked. With this in mind, in our biggest market, the U.S., we started providing our associates with paid time off to cover necessary quarantines, including quarantines due to a COVID-19 diagnosis, contact with a COVID-19 case or having symptoms of COVID-19. We also offered paid high-risk leave for associates who were high-risk, or who lived with a family member who was high risk. Our high-risk leave provided partial pay for up to 24 weeks, and additional unpaid job-protected leave if needed thereafter.
Making hand sanitizer
To protect the health and safety of our employees, the team at our Global Essential Supplies Distribution Center in Williamsport, Maryland shipped more than 30 million units of PPE including gloves, thermometers and face masks since opening on April 6, 2020. We also manufactured and bottled hand sanitizer for employees – a concept that was brought to life in a mere 20 days.
Addressing Food Insecurity
As the COVID-19 pandemic intensified food insecurity, PepsiCo responded through PepsiCo’s Food for Good program, working with partners to distribute meals to those most in need. In 2020, together with The PepsiCo Foundation, PepsiCo invested more than $71 million and provided more than 145 million meals to communities and families impacted by COVID-19 worldwide.
Delivering meals to U.S. children
As part of our commitment to advancing food security in communities throughout the world, PepsiCo’s Food for Good program was established in 2009, with an initial focus to deliver nutritious meals to children when they are not in school. To address the economic impact of COVID-19, the program used this expertise and its partnerships to reach children across the U.S. affected by school closures.
Through an innovative partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Baylor University Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty (BCHP), Food for Good shipped millions of meals directly to the doorsteps of displaced children in rural communities. Meal boxes delivered by postal workers provided two weeks’ worth of shelf-stable, individually packaged nutritious food that met USDA’s summer food requirements.
From March 2020 through the end of the year, PepsiCo’s Food for Good team led meal packing and delivery efforts for more than 18 million meals to communities nationwide stretching from Alaska to Puerto Rico. PepsiCo also provided $1 million in funding to the BCHP to facilitate distribution and the program has also created more than 200 frontline jobs, hiring from the communities they serve.
Expanding support to address a food and health crisis in India
Since the onset of the pandemic in early 2020, PepsiCo India has looked to address a food crisis and has provided over 10 million meals to underserved communities. Since 2020, PepsiCo India has also made over 35,000 COVID-19 test kits available to various government labs and hospitals and to demonstrate their commitment to the effort, all PepsiCo India employees contributed a day’s salary, resulting in a contribution of over 3 million meals.
As a second wave emerged in 2021, The PepsiCo Foundation partnered with the Sustainable Environment and Ecological Development Society (SEEDS), a leading not-for-profit organization, to launch a community relief outreach program to support the Government of India’s ongoing efforts against COVID-19. As part of the partnership, SEEDS will drive COVID-19 vaccinations for the community at large, set up COVID care centers equipped with beds and medical facilities including oxygen cylinders. Additionally, oxygen concentrators will be provided to Central Government for distribution to various Government hospitals.
Feeding children and families in Latin America
PepsiCo Latin America partnered with The PepsiCo Foundation to donate $6.8 million to help vulnerable children and their families in Latin America who depend on school meals for their nutrition. This donation enabled the delivery of 12 million nutritious meals to children and families in communities across 15 countries in Latin America. More than 7 million people benefited, thanks to our alliances with The Global FoodBanking Network, Save the Children, Un Kilo de Ayuda, Dividendo Voluntario Para la Comunidad/United Way Worldwide and Rise Against Hunger.
Supporting frontline workers in China
PepsiCo China’s Smile Together COVID relief program has directly benefited more than 2.8 million people in 14 provinces of China as a result of investments from our Greater China Region business and The PepsiCo Foundation. The PepsiCo Foundation provided grants of approximately $1.2 million to support frontline healthcare and sanitation workers.
Providing assistance to U.S. restaurant workers
In the U.S., PepsiCo teamed up with celebrity chef Guy Fieri and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) to become a founding member of the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund (RERF), committing $1 million to help kick off the initiative. The fund provides grants to industry employees who have been impacted by COVID-19, either by a significant decrease in wages or loss of employment. In April 2020, PepsiCo announced an additional $3 million commitment to the RERF on John Krasinski’s digital show Some Good News, helping push the fund past the $20 million mark, allowing NRAEF to provide grants to 40,000 workers.
Racial Equality Journey
PepsiCo has a legacy of building and supporting a diverse workforce. In June 2020, Chairman and CEO Ramon Laguarta announced our Racial Equality Journey commitments, including goals of increasing diverse representation within our company, increasing our spend with diverse supply chain partners and investing in our communities, ultimately helping to break down longstanding racial barriers to social and economic progress.
In announcing more than $400 million in initiatives to support Black communities and increase Black representation over five years, Laguarta described the program as “a holistic effort to address the need for systemic change” and spoke of his own personal commitment to helping to lead this change.
PepsiCo’s Racial Equality Journey Black Initiative includes specific targets such as increasing our current Black manager population to 10% over the next five years to mirror the workforce availability of the communities where we work. We are also expanding recruitment efforts with Historically Black Colleges and Universities, implementing mandatory unconscious bias training and increasing the participation of Black voices in marketing content and creative development. Other key elements include increasing partnerships with diverse organizations, doubling spending with Black-owned suppliers (an incremental spend of $350 million), a $50 million commitment over five years to support Black-owned small businesses and a slate of community support initiatives.
We expanded our Racial Equality Journey efforts with a $172 million set of initiatives over the next five years focused on Hispanic Americans. In addition to spending $224 million with Hispanic suppliers in 2020, the Hispanic Initiative includes increasing Hispanic middle management representation at PepsiCo to 10% of our workforce over the next five years to further mirror workforce availability of the places where we work, supporting a network of resilient Hispanic-owned suppliers and helping to provide access to higher education to unlock opportunity for Hispanics across America.
Other accomplishments include the launch of the BOLD (Breakthrough Organizational Leadership Development) six-month executive development training program for Black and Hispanic managers, amplifying Black and Hispanic voices through our brands, and being co-chair of the 2020 National Minority Supplier Development Council National Conference (and joining the board). To date, 100% of PepsiCo executives have completed inclusive leadership and unconscious bias training.
Empowering Women and Girls
Empowering women is about accepting and valuing the strengths women bring to the workplace. PepsiCo has pledged $100 million by 2025 to support workforce readiness for women. Since 2016, we have reached over 25.7 million women and have invested $64.7 million to develop and implement projects that offer critical resources to women for job preparedness as well as initiatives to empower women working within the global food system and agricultural sector.
Gender Parity and Equity
We are committed to achieving gender parity in our management roles and pay equity for women by 2025. Women and men currently earn within 1% of each other2 and in the U.S., Asian, Black and Hispanic employees are paid within 1% of non-minorities, after controlling for legitimate factors such as job level, geographic location and performance ratings.
Supporting our Female Workforce in Saudi Arabia
Affording more than a competitive advantage, diversity, equity and inclusion are essential to a dynamic and resilient organization. PepsiCo is proud to play an integral part in building the future of women in the Saudi workplace. In 2008, PepsiCo had one female employee in Saudi Arabia; now PepsiCo employs more than 140. It’s all part of PepsiCo’s partnership with Saudi Arabia to help the country’s Vision 2030 goals, in which all citizens can fulfill their dreams, hopes and ambitions to succeed in a thriving economy.
Several PepsiCo initiatives are helping to break barriers and provide a foundation for female empowerment, growth and development. Within PepsiCo:
- We sponsored drivers’ licenses for women across all locations in Saudi Arabia, and opened a nursery in our Riyadh office to support working mothers.
- Our Damman plant achieved a 22% female workforce.
Catalyst CEO Champions for Change
In 2020, PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Ramon Laguarta joined Catalyst CEO Champions for Change. This group of 70+ CEOs has partnered with Catalyst, a global nonprofit helping to build workplaces that work for women, to support diversity, inclusion and gender equity at work.
Million Women Mentors (MWM)
Through Million Women Mentors – a global initiative of STEMconnector with the goal of creating a million mentor/mentee relationships between STEM career professionals and women who aspire to follow in their footsteps – PepsiCo STEM employees have pledged more than 23,000 hours for mentoring since 2014 across 10 chapters globally.
Currently we have nearly 700 active mentoring relationships, of which more than 160 are mentees external to PepsiCo. We are currently in the process of setting up an MWM chapter in Turkey.
Empowering Women in Latin America
PepsiCo partnered with FUNDES in 2016 on a women’s empowerment program that creates local public-private professional training ecosystems designed to advance sustainability and promote education, employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for women. The goal of this collaborative effort is to empower more than 12,000 women, and we are well on our way. The program is being implemented across eight Latin American countries including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Uruguay and Venezuela. At the end of 2020, more than 7,400 women had successfully completed the program and 65% of participants reported an increase in sales, 71% consider having improved significantly their ability to manage social media and 75% of the participants are creating or operating an entrepreneurship.
1. Based on base compensation and after controlling for factors such as job level, geographic location and performance ratings.
2. Percentage is inclusive of 71 countries that collectively make up more than 99% of PepsiCo’s salaried employee population based on base compensation.