Sustainability, Trends

Pepsico: ‘New emission targets keep global warming below two degrees Celcius’

Earlier this week, PepsiCo confirmed that its ambitious new target for greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction has been verified and approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative as being in line with what climate science says is necessary to keep global warming below two degrees Celsius. The global food and beverage company has committed to work to reduce absolute GHG emissions across its value chain by at least 20 percent by 2030. Under its Performance with Purpose vision, PepsiCo has already had significant success in limiting its GHG emissions. 

Between 2006 and 2015, it achieved an 18 percent improvement in the energy efficiency of its legacy operations. It also extended its use of renewable energy and introduced fuel-efficient vehicles, as well as vending machines and coolers free of hydrofluorocarbons.

Set in 2016 as part its broader 2025 Agenda, the new climate goal takes into account PepsiCo’s direct operations, owned-fleet fuel use and purchased electricity, which account for approximately 7% of the company’s total carbon footprint.

Importantly, however, the goal also includes the 93% of PepsiCo’s carbon footprint that emanates from sources outside PepsiCo direct operations, such as farming, packaging, third-party transportation and consumer use of its products.

To date, 44 companies worldwide have had their climate targets validated by the Science Based Targets Initiative, a partnership between CDP, the World Resources Institute, the World Wide Fund for Nature and the UN Global Compact, with over 200 more companies awaiting validation.

Mehmood Khan, PepsiCo Vice Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer, Global Research and Development:

“The Paris Climate Agreement that entered into force in April 2016 set out the obligation for collective action to limit the impact of climate change. We believe combating climate change is critical to the future of our company, our customers, consumers and our world. Our new target represents a meaningful and measurable contribution to meeting the two degree global goal. Such rigor is now a requirement of any responsible business.”

Cynthia Cummis, Director of Private Sector Climate Mitigation at the World Resources Institute and a member of the Science Based Targets Initiative Steering Committee:

“The threat of climate change calls for governments and businesses to commit to science-based action. “We congratulate PepsiCo on their science-based target. By seeking to decarbonize its value chain, the company is showing leadership within the food and agriculture sector and strengthening its competitive advantage in the transition to the low-carbon economy.”

PepsiCo will work to reduce its GHG emissions by:

  • Increasing energy efficiency and transitioning to renewables in its manufacturing operations where feasible;
  • Working with suppliers to reduce their GHG impacts;
  • Exploring less GHG-intensive packaging materials; and
  • Helping direct farmers in an effort reduce GHG emissions in the field through global programs such as the PepsiCo Sustainable Farming Initiative.

Among new actions already underway, PepsiCo has joined the Business Renewables Center at the Rocky Mountain Institute and signed on to the Renewable Energy Buyers Principles, which were developed by leading NGOs and set out the future purchasing expectations of large companies regarding renewable energy in the United States. These actions are informing PepsiCo’s renewable energy procurement strategy.

Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse

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