PepsiCo's eco-friendly manufacturing - criticism and progress

Home of Gatorade, Doritos, Tropicana, and Walkers Crisps, PepsiCo remains committed to its environmental responsibilities
 PepsiCo's range of products

Written By: Chris Davies


As the manufacturer of several snack foods and beverages, PepsiCo is one of the biggest brands in the world. Responsible for products such as Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Tropicana, Gatorade, Quaker Oats, Doritos and Walker Crisps, the company is becomingly increasingly aware and committed to its environmental manufacturing responsibility. After criticism of its water usage, levels of pesticide, recycling practices and carbon footprint, PepsiCo is recognising the importance of being an eco-friendly company.


In the early and mid 2000s, PepsiCo's water usage in India was the subject of controversy as the country's shortages are a perennial issue. As a result, in 2003 PepsiCo launched a country-wide program to achieve a "positive water balance" in India by 2009.

According to the company's 2009 corporate citizenship report, PepsiCo replenished nearly six billion litres of water within India, exceeding the aggregate water intake of approximately five billion litres by PepsiCo’s India manufacturing facilities.


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Concerns have been raised over the environmental impact surrounding the disposal of PepsiCo's bottled beverages, as recycling rates for the company's products in 2009 averaged 34 percent within the US. However in 2010, PepsiCo announced they would create partnerships to prompt an increase in the US beverage container recycling rate to 50 percent by 2018.

In 2008, PepsiCo UK revealed pledges which included achieving zero landfill waste across its total supply chain within 10 years as well as commissioning life-cycle assessments of major packaging materials to identify optimal choices for greenhouse gas and water reduction. So far, PepsiCo has stopped sending any waste to landfill at nine of its manufacturing and distribution sites as well as reducing total waste sent to landfill by 88 percent.


Alongside water and agricultural pledges, PepsiCo UK also agreed that all energy used in its UK manufacturing and distribution operations would be from renewable sources within 15 years. Short-term promises towards this goal included increasing electricity from renewable sources from 8 percent to 14 percent within three years and reducing energy use by a further 20 percent per kg of production within the same time.

So far, PepsiCo has sourced four percent of its total energy from renewable sources and set out a road map to achieve the company’s aim of being fossil fuel free by 2023. It has more than doubled its share of electricity from renewable sources from 8 percent to 17.4 percent, well above PepsiCo's target of 14 percent. The company has also reduced energy use by 12.5 percent, with a target of 20 percent by the end of 2011.

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