PepsiCo recently announced its ambition to become “Net Water Positive” by 2030, aiming to replenish more water than the company uses, which would place it among the most water-efficient food or beverage manufacturers operating in high-risk watersheds.
With safe water access a critical component of the holistic water stewardship agenda, The PepsiCo Foundation is also launching a new $1 million program with leading NGO and long-term partner, WaterAid to bring safe water to families in Sub-Saharan Africa – expanding its 15-year, more than $53 million safe water access initiative that reaches over 20 countries and has helped more than 59 million people since 2006.
“Water scarcity is directly linked to the climate crisis, and at PepsiCo we believe a global effort to be ‘net water positive’ is essential. We’re focused not only on making sure people around the world have access to this vital resource, but ensuring that we are also prioritising water stewardship in our operations everywhere,” Jim Andrew, chief sustainability officer at PepsiCo.
Bold new goals will guide tangible operational action towards PepsiCo’s “Net Water Positive” ambition to reduce absolute water use and replenish back into the local watershed more than 100% of the water used at company-owned and third-party sites in high-water-risk areas.
Reduction efficiencies are to be met through the adoption of operational best-in-class or world-class water-use-efficiency standards covering more than 1 000 company-owned and third-party facilities, with nearly half located in high-risk watersheds. Raising the efficiency standard at company-owned sites in high-risk watersheds alone will allow PepsiCo to avoid using more than 11 billion l of water a year, a 50% (based on the 2015 reduction in the amount of water the company uses at these sites. PepsiCo has set a “best-in-class” standard (1.2l of water per l of beverage or 0.4l per kg of food) for all company owned, bottler and franchisee sites in high-risk watersheds. For all others, PepsiCo has set a new goal to achieve world-class water use efficiency (1.4l of water per l of beverage or 4.4l of water per kg of food). These standards were set based on internal peer analysis. PepsiCo also aims to adopt the Alliance for Water Stewardship Standard in all high-water risk areas where it operates by 2025. Additionally, PepsiCo’s holistic “Net Water Positive” vision looks to deliver safe water access to 100 million people by 2030.
The PepsiCo Foundation’s new investment with WaterAid is focused on Sub-Saharan Africa and will help improve water infrastructure, build new water supply systems and equitable sanitation facilities, and promote hygiene education. It will also empower women and girls to become water, sanitation and hygiene stewards in their communities by providing them with the funding and training to maintain water access points and sanitation facilities for years to come.