PepsiCo is leveraging its scale, reach and expertise across the areas where it can have the greatest impact – Agriculture, Water, Packaging, Products, Climate and People – to help build a more sustainable food system.
Helping to Build a More Sustainable Food System
Today, the global food system brings nutrition, economic opportunity, convenience and enjoyment to more people than ever before, but it faces significant pressures that threaten its future ability to meet the needs of a growing global population.
At PepsiCo, we believe that there is an opportunity to change how the world produces, distributes, consumes and disposes of foods and beverages in order to tackle the shared challenges we face.
We aim to use our scale, reach and expertise to help build a more sustainable food system; one that can meet human needs for nutrition and enjoyment, and continue to drive economic and social development, without exceeding the natural boundaries of the planet.
As well as being the right thing to do, working to realize this purpose is also good for our business. Where our food system may be operating in an unsustainable way, it can create supply chain, operational and financial risks for our company. By contrast, addressing risks within our value chain and the wider food system effectively can create new opportunities for competitive advantage and future market growth, while also supporting the communities in which we operate.
Next Generation Agriculture
Over the next 30 years, global demand for agricultural products will grow by as much as 50 percent. Yet, already, agriculture accounts for around 70 percent of the world’s fresh water consumption and about a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. It also contributes to deforestation, biodiversity loss, and land and water pollution. While farming drives rural development, some agricultural regions are also impacted by poverty, inequality and human rights abuses.
Agriculture is the foundation of the food system and the root of PepsiCo’s business. To make our foods and beverages, we use more than 25 crops sourced across 60 countries, and support over a hundred thousand jobs in and throughout our agricultural supply chain. This scale and reach means the standards and practices that we employ and promote can influence the environmental, social and economic impacts of agriculture around the world.
Our Next Generation Agriculture strategy aims to drive progress in making agriculture more resilient, intelligent and inclusive.
Positive Water Impact
Water is fundamental to our food system and to PepsiCo’s business. It nourishes the crops used to make our products, is the main ingredient in many of our beverages and an integral component of our manufacturing operations. But in some regions water is scarce, and climate change is worsening pressures on water resources around the globe. Estimates indicate that by 2025, two-thirds of the world’s population will live in water-stressed regions.
PepsiCo’s positive water impact strategy focuses on improving water stewardship across our business and in regions where we operate. Our ultimate goal is to support long-term, sustainable water security for all users, especially in high water-risk areas.
As well as taking action in our own value chain, we aim to use our expertise and influence to advocate for the local policies and practices that can protect and replenish watersheds.
Circular Future for Packaging
In an efficient food system, packaging helps make safe, high-quality products accessible to all, extending shelf life and helping to limit food waste. But, for it to have a role in a more sustainable food system, we must eliminate packaging waste.
In 2018, plastic represented just under half of the total packaging material PepsiCo used, with aluminum, glass and fiber making up most of the balance. In that year, we used 2.2 million metric tonnes of virgin plastic to package products throughout our food and beverage portfolio. While plastic offers a highly effective, lightweight packaging material, producing petroleum-based plastic is a carbon-intensive process and, globally, only 14 percent of what is used is collected for recycling. The rest becomes waste. Where it is disposed of irresponsibly or where waste management is ineffective, it litters our communities and pollutes our oceans.
We have set an ambitious target to reduce 35 percent of virgin plastic content across our beverage brands by 2025. Progress will be driven by the increased use of recycled content and alternative packaging materials. Across PepsiCo’s business and our brands, we’ve made it a business imperative to help build a circular future for packaging and a world where plastics need never become waste.
Improved Choices Across Our Portfolio
For more than 50 years, our willingness to adapt has allowed us to transform from a company that made only chips and soda into a global leader offering a wide variety of the world’s most enjoyable foods and beverages. We continue to expand our portfolio to offer more options for every taste, lifestyle and occasion.
At PepsiCo, we believe that a more sustainable food system should meet human needs for both nutrition and enjoyment. We’re working continually to introduce new products that have more of the nutritious ingredients our consumers need. And we are continuing to reformulate existing recipes across our portfolio to reduce added sugars, sodium and saturated fat so that consumers can continue to enjoy our most loved brands as part of a balanced diet.
Climate Change Mitigation
The world faces worsening climate change. 2018 was the fourth warmest year on record, beaten only by 2015, 2016 and 2017. The rapid warming of our planet is likely to worsen risk factors in our global food system, from extreme weather and water scarcity, to soil quality loss and disruption to the political, economic and social systems that underpin how we produce and distribute food.
The global food system is responsible for around 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. We believe that it can become more carbon-efficient and resilient and also play a significant role in regenerating the health of our climate through carbon sequestration.
People & Prosperity
Around the world, people work every day to power the food system. From harvesting ingredients, to loading the truck for distribution, to placing an item on the store shelf, we rely on our farmers, our PepsiCo associates, our retail partners and many others each day to create and sell our globally-recognized products.
This means we have an interest in the success and well-being of our people. We are committed to advancing respect for human rights throughout our value chain, building diverse and inclusive workplaces and investing to promote shared prosperity in local communities where we live and work.