PepsiC PEP o pledged to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across its value chain by more than 40% before 2030 and to reach net-zero by 2040, a decade earlier than called for in the Paris Agreement. This change is expected to avoid more than 26 million metric tons of GHG emissions.
To achieve its goals, PepsiCo wants to focus on sustainable agriculture using low emission fertilisers, precision technology and regenerative practices to improve soil health, biodiversity and productivity; alongside maximizing efficiency in its supply chain and adopting low or zero emission fuel transport.
Also, the ‘Sustainable from the Start’ program will ensure a product design that mitigates the environmental impact of the packaging, as shown by the recent announcement to reduce the use of virgin plastic and move nine European markets into 100% recycled plastic bottles by 2022.
“There is no vaccine for climate change. But our planet is in crisis,” said Silviu Popovici, CEO of PepsiCo Europe. “PepsiCo’s new climate goal will double our efforts on emission reductions. This impacts both our company-owned businesses but also includes our suppliers and bottlers. Simply put, we all have to do more.”
A little explanation can help understand why achieving carbon neutral status for a product or an organisation can be challenging, as much as necessary.
Every company’s information on carbon footprint falls into three different categories called “scopes”. The direct use of fuel for your vehicle, for instance, is considered scope 1; the electricity you have used is considered as scope 2; everything else as scope 3 – which makes it the most important but tricky.
Examples of scope 3 emissions include the ones arising from employee’s travels, manufacturing and all business activities along the supply chain. Usually, it’s a significant proportion and indeed Pepsi says that more than 90% of its GHG emissions in 2019 came from this category.
According to Lara Obst, co-founder and chief sustainability officer of The Climate Choice, a B2B startup that helps companies take climate action, “it is great that Pepsi increases it’s CO2-reduction goals and aligns them with science-based targets along the 1,5 degree goal – especially because the global food system is responsible for around 30% of greenhouse gas emissions.”
“Next steps will require an accurate planning of clear reduction actions and measures,” Obst adds. “Reducing CO2 is therefore a joined journey and will need the climate transformation of many players. A clear and transparent roadmap would help stakeholder, suppliers and customers to understand how the pledged goals will be implemented.”
In Europe, PepsiCo has so far reduced its total emissions by 6% since 2015.