PepsiCo shares sustainability lessons from pep+ Partners for Tomorrow platform

By Ryan Daily

- Last updated on GMT

Image Credit: PepsiCo
Image Credit: PepsiCo

Related tags PepsiCo North America Sustainability Recycling

PepsiCo is sharing lessons learned from two and half years of its PepsiCo Positive (pep+) initiative with its retail and foodservice partners through a new platform to boost sustainability across the value chain, Marianne Ross, senior director of commercial sustainability for PepsiCo Beverages North America, told FoodNavigator-USA.

Where our customers are in their journey really varies, and that's really what this program is about. [It] is trying to take what we're seeing is the most prevalent needs of our customers, as it relates to sustainability, and taking the capabilities that we've developed as part of PepsiCo Positive and really making that accessible to our customers," ​she explained.

Providing a platform to support sustainability journeys

The pep+ Partners for Tomorrow platform places PepsiCo sustainability programs​ under a single “umbrella,” so PepsiCo partners can learn how to boost their sustainability efforts, Ross said.

"Partners for Tomorrow is aligning our wide range of customer sustainability capabilities under a new cohesive umbrella program,​" Ross said. "Today is all about taking those learnings and scaling those solutions across the board for our customers both in the foodservice and retail outlets.​"

PepsiCo also created a dedicated website for pep+ Partners for Tomorrow​, which will provide customers insight and information about the various individual programs, including:

  • Sow Positive Agriculture (sow+ Agriculture)​: Many companies are “interested in regenerative agriculture and the benefits of that for the climate, but they don't really know where to start,​” Ross said. As part of the sow+ Agriculture program, PepsiCo will work with its customers to co-invest in converting farming land to regenerative farmed acreage, and investments will directly support farmers through loans and grants. 
  • CIRQU (formerly, the BootleLoop program)​: CIRQU is a recycling program where PepsiCo will process and reclaim recycled PET packaging from food service and retail partners. Currently, the company is collecting recyclable materials from 10 states and in over 250 locations. This initiative will also serve PepsiCo's goal of reducing virgin plastic per serving by 50% by 2030.
  • Reusable cup solutions​: PepsiCo also tested various ways to boost the reusability and recyclability of cups, Ross said. PepsiCo worked with technology company Turn to create a gamification program at the BFG Bank Arena in Baltimore, Maryland, where attendees could scan the cup that they were recycling to win prizes, she added. Other tests include a pilot program that equipped dorm rooms with a reusable SodaStream bottle and provide refilling stations across campus.
  • pep+ Renew​: The pep+ REnew has two goals: to educate PepsiCo partners on renewable electricity choices and speed up the transition to renewable electricity through a power purchase agreement. This program launched in 2022 and will be a part of PepsiCo's plan to achieve net-zero emissions by 2040.
  • Sustainability Action Center​: PepsiCo partners and customers can use the Sustainability Action Center to assess where they are in their climate goals and receive education on how they can reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

Additionally, PepsiCo will hold its annual Sustainability Summit next month, where it will present “some of the latest trends on sustainability in the food and beverage industry​” in a session with a Q&A segment, so attendees can engage with PepsiCo directly, Ross said.

For customers that are just starting out, the Sustainability Summit or Sustainable Action Center would be a great place to start. And then even for our customers who are well on their way with the sustainability journey, there are opportunities like are Sow Positive Agriculture programs.​”

Engaging the entire value chain with pep+

PepsiCo has also made several announcements related to its overall sustainability framework. Last month, PepsiCo announced a $216m investment​ in regenerative agriculture, which will fund farmers directly to improve regenerative agriculture practices. And then this month, the company announced the opening of a greenhouse facility​ in Plano, Texas, to speed up the development of sustainable packages.

As it looks to further progress its sustainability goals, PepsiCo will also continue to work across the value chain with partners and consumers, Ross said.

"While we are doing a lot with PepsiCo Positive, we're [going to] need to work across the value chain to really deliver the full PepsiCo Positive goals.​"

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