Belgian real-estate developer Ion was looking for sustainable heating alternatives for a new residential area in the city of Veurne when it received a proposal from a surprising source: PepsiCo.
As Elise Hannum reports for Fast Company, the food and beverage juggernaut suggested a collaboration between the community and a nearby potato chip plant operated by Lay’s, a subsidiary. The vapor from cooking up to 20 tons of potatoes per hour could heat a water circuit, replacing natural gas with a more environmentally efficient process while simultaneously providing PepsiCo with a valuable carbon offset.
The project is the winner of the Europe, Middle East, and Africa category of Fast Company’s 2022 World Changing Ideas Awards. It will top out at 500 households upon the project’s completion in the next 10 years.