Pepsi Water Efficiency Wins Plaudits

by | Aug 29, 2012

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PepsiCo’s more than 20 percent improvement in global water efficiency since 2006 has won it the Stockholm Industry Water Award during World Water Week.

Pepsi received the award for its water conservation efforts including:

  • Conserving about 16 billion liters of water in 2011, from a 2006 baseline, by using water-saving equipment and technologies, creative recycling and re-use, and by deploying a water management system throughout its manufacturing facilities.
  • Reducing water- and energy-related costs by more than $45 million in 2011, compared to 2006.
  • Implementing agricultural practices and technologies around the world designed to reduce water use in farming through new irrigation techniques, and introducing tools that help farmers deliver fertilizer and water to their crops at the most efficient time.
  • Providing access to safe water for more than 1 million people with the PepsiCo Foundation and other partners.

Pepsi has reduced its water and energy use through a series of water management practices including direct seeding in India and its web-based farming tool i-crop. Initial i-crop trials, which ran from April 2010 to November 2011 across 46 of Pepsi’s UK potato farms, have seen a 13 percent increase in crop yield and an 8 percent reduction in water use, the company says.

Pepsi also uses ReCon, a tool named for Resource Conservation, which allows manufacturing facilities to conduct self-audits of their water management practices, and make water conservation improvements. Pepsi says it’s planning to extend ReCon into the agriculture area as well.

The efforts helped Pepsi exceed its goal of improving water efficiency 20 percent by 2015, using 2006 as a baseline, and show a leap forward against the 15 percent reduction the company achieved only a couple years before.

In October 2011, PepsiCo’s FritoLay plant in Casa Grande, Ariz. achieved “near net zero” status. Up to 75 percent of its water is recycled and it sends zero waste to the landfill.

In June this year, Pepsi was among a group of 45 international companies that agreed to set targets on their own water efficiency and wastewater management in factories and operations, and called on governments attending the Rio+20 Earth Summit to make global water security a top priority.

The companies’ 45 CEOs — all of whom have endorsed the Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate — pledged to work with suppliers to improve their water practices, and partner with nongovernmental organizations, UN agencies, governments and public authorities, investors and other stakeholders on water-related projects and solutions.

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