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PepsiCo initiates Green projects

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PepsiCo, the company that produces beverage and food brands like Pepsi and Frito-Lay, which are distributed on the Island by Dunkley's, has developed the world's first PET plastic bottle made entirely from plant-based, fully renewable resources, enabling the company to manufacture a beverage container with a significantly reduced carbon footprint.

PepsiCo's “green” bottle is 100 percent recyclable and far surpasses existing industry technologies. The bottle is made from bio-based raw materials, including switch grass, pine bark and corn husks. In the future, the company expects to broaden the renewable sources used to create the Green bottle to include orange peels, potato peels, oat hulls and other agricultural byproducts from its foods business.

“This breakthrough innovation is a transformational development for PepsiCo and the beverage industry, and a direct result of our commitment to research and development,” said PepsiCo Chairman and CEO, Indra Nooyi. “PepsiCo is in a unique position, as one of the world's largest food and beverage businesses, to ultimately source agricultural byproducts from our foods business to manufacture a more environmentally-preferable bottle for our beverages business a sustainable business model that we believe brings to life the essence of Performance with Purpose.”

Combining biological and chemical processes, PepsiCo has identified methods to create a molecular structure that is identical to petroleum-based PET (polyethylene terephthalate), which results in a bottle that looks, feels and protects its product identically to existing PET beverage containers.

PepsiCo will pilot production of the new bottle in 2012. Upon successful completion of the pilot, the company intends to move directly to full-scale commercialisation.

“As You Sow applauds PepsiCo's innovative packaging design,” said Conrad Mackerron, senior program director of As You Sow, a San Francisco-based foundation, which promotes corporate social responsibility through shareholder engagement. “By reducing reliance on petroleum-based materials and using its own agricultural scraps as feedstock for new bottles, this advancement should deliver a double win for the environment and PepsiCo.”

Specific examples of PepsiCo's other recent environmental innovations and progress include:

· SunChips developing the world's first fully compostable bag and using solar power at the Modesto manufacturing facility to take some of the plant off the electrical grid

· Light-weighting Aquafina's bottles with the introduction of the Eco-Fina bottle in 2009, the lightest bottle of its size among US bottled water brands

· Naked Juice transitioning to a 100 percent post-consumer recycled plastic bottle with the introduction of its reNEWabottle the first beverage, distributed nationally in the US, to do so

· Achieving “positive water balance” in India in 2009 through direct seeding initiatives, the company replenished nearly six billion litres of water across India, exceeding the total intake of approximately five billion litres of water by its manufacturing facilities

One of the largest envrionmental projects at the company has come at PepsiCo's Frito-Lay Casa Grande, Arizona facility which recently reached “near net zero”.

The “near net zero” vision was to transform an existing facility so that it would be as far “off the grid” as possible and run primarily on renewable energy sources and recycled water, while producing nearly zero landfill waste.

“As a company that relies on key natural resources like water and fuel, Frito-Lay has developed strategies to ensure our business remains sustainable, even if there are constraints on those resources,” explains Al Carey, past CEO and president, Frito-Lay North America.

Buildings in the United States are responsible for 39 percent of CO2 emissions, 40 percent of energy consumption and 13 percent of water consumption, making environmental sustainability initiatives for new and existing buildings a significant opportunity. In fact, greater building efficiency can help meet 85 percent of future US demand for energy.

Using innovative technologies, the Casa Grande facility is generating two-thirds of all energy used from renewable sources and is working toward significant reductions:

· 50 percent reduction of greenhouse gases

· 75 percent of water is recycled

· 80 percent reduction of natural gas usage

Water reduction: The Casa Grande facility installed a water recovery and reuse system that combines Membrane Bio Reactor (MBR) and Low-Pressure Reverse Osmosis (LPRO) technologies to recycle from 50 percent to 75 percent of water. The recycled process water meets Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) primary and secondary drinking water standards.

Electricity reduction: Five separate and distinct solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, installed throughout the property, produce nearly 10 million kilowatt-hours (KWHs) of electrical power. Two solar fields of single axis tracking PV systems with more than 18,000 solar panels were installed on 36 acres of the facility's agriculture property. The three additional PV fields installed by the plant include a dual axis tracking system, a single axis covered parking lot and 10 sterling engine dual axis tracking systems.

Natural gas reduction: The newly installed 60,000 pounds per hour (lb/hr) biomass boiler, which uses wood and agricultural waste as its combustion energy source, will produce all the steam needed for the manufacturing plant and will reduce natural gas usage by over 80 percent.

Zero landfill: As of 2010, the Casa Grande facility sent less than 1 percent of its overall waste to landfill through extensive recycling and using food waste for cattle feed.

LEED: During the course of implementation, the Casa Grande facility became the first existing food manufacturing site to achieve LEED Existing Building (EB) Gold Certification from the US Green Building Council in 2009.

Moving forward, Frito-Lay will leverage key learnings from the Casa Grande plant and apply them to other facilities where appropriate.

Frito-Lay Casa Grande's more than 350 associates make snack chips including Lay's and Ruffles potato chips, Fritos corn chips, Tostitos and Doritos tortilla chips, and Cheetos cheese-flavored snacks.

Pepsi's new bottle made entirely from plant-based materials.
More than 18,000 solar panels were installed at Frito-Lay's Casa Grande, Arizona facility.
A biomass broiler at the Arizona facility.

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Published November 03, 2011 at 10:00 am (Updated November 03, 2011 at 10:36 am)

PepsiCo initiates Green projects

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