Zero waste to landfill is an initiative that pursues and reaches zero direct impact to landfill from the productive process at PepsiCo in Mexico and Latam. The purpose is to ensure that the resources and waste don’t end in landfill and find another use in other productive system.
José Manuel Rodríguez Morales
EGADE Business School Tecnologico de Monterrey
Every PepsiCo plant in Mexico and in the world uses oil, flour, raw materials and packaging (mostly bopp and cardboard) to create finished goods. Some part of this productive process creates waste and stales. The intention of this project is to make sure that the oil used, the flour and finished good waste end up in another productive system avoiding generation of waste to sanitary landfill.
Zero waste to landfill from PepsiCo
PepsiCo found the inspiration for this program thanks to its already defined sustainability strategies, since they understand and are clear about the benefits it brings to the business in the form of cost savings and efficiencies obtained. In addition, they want to be a good citizen of the communities where the company operates. As Luis said in the interview, "For us, it is very important that any waste generated from our manufacturing processes does not reach a sanitary landfill".
On the other hand, as a company they want to promote the vision of a world where packaging and containers never become waste. To achieve this, they have made alliances with suppliers and strategic partners to build a strong local infrastructure that helps meet commitments, while strengthening local economies and reducing waste beyond the company's own operations.
According to Pepsico's sustainability report for the previous year, the following impacts are identified:
• Spread regenerative farming practices across 7 million acres globally and save at least 3 million tons of GHG emissions by 2030.
• Demonstration Farms, which enable peer-to-peer learning, grew to more than 350 farms with more than 80% adopting regenerative farming practices.
• Improve the livelihoods of more than 250,000 people in our agricultural supply chain by 2030.
• An estimated 78 billion single-use plastic bottles will be avoided through 2025.
• 22 global markets now offer a PepsiCo product in 100% rPET packaging.
• Drive progress toward a circular economy.
• Operational and agricultural water-use efficiency.
• Local water replenishment in high water risk areas, public education, advocacy for smart water policies and regulations, and adoption of best practices with key partners in the community.
• Invested more than $55 million in safe water access programs.
• Net-zero emissions by 2040.
• Reduce absolute GHG emissions across our direct operations (Scopes 1 and 2) by 75% and our indirect value chain (Scope 3) by 40% by 2030 (against a 2015 baseline).
• Reducing added sugars, sodium and saturated fats across our portfolio.
• As COVID-19 spread throughout the world in 2020, PepsiCo took proactive steps, grounded in science, to protect the safety of our products, care for our more than 290,000 associates and their families and to deliver support to communities in need.
• Racial Equality Journey commitments, including increasing diverse representation within our company and a commitment to invest more than $570 million over the next five years to support Black and Hispanic businesses and communities.
• We pledged $100 million by 2025 to support workforce readiness for women. Since 2016, we have reached over 25.7 million women and have invested $64.7 million toward this ambition.
• 85% of our packaging is recyclable, compostable or biodegradable (RCB), as we work toward our goal of 100% RCB by 2025.
• In 22 global markets PepsiCo product in 100% rPET packaging.
• In 28 countries sustainably sourced direct sourced crops (potatoes, whole corn, oats and oranges).
At PepsiCo they are looking to achieve zero waste to landfill for the good of the world and making a change on people’s behavior. This is their real mission and target, but in the meanwhile, as Luis mentioned in our interview, they are also realizing that by doing that, they are evolving to a circular economy in which they produce many raw materials for new products, or even for their own.
These processes, at the end, are becoming revenue streams for the company by having the opportunity of selling these raw materials, or on the other hand, by also making their processes less expensive and save a few dollars since there are now their suppliers’ supplier.
A very representative example in our day-to-day activities is the PET recycling, which we are very familiar with, and it is one of the first well known practices for all of us. In this example, PepsiCo partnered with ECOCE, a non-profit Mexican recycling company, to lead the recollection efforts for PET and making possible to recycle about 70% of the total waste in Mexico (highest rate around the world). By doing this, they are accomplishing both ends, avoiding waste to end up at the landfill but also by reprocessing that PET to become new bottles for their own products.
PepsiCo has more than 10 years investing in sustainable activities. In all cases, this investment not only delivers direct impact to the planet but also creates profit. This has aloud to growth in last year, only in 2020 the net revenue was +70 billion USD.
PepsiCo’s sustainability strategy and particularly the Zero Waste to Landfill initiative demonstrate that it is possible to conduct a worldwide profitable business, while producing innovative positive changes in people lives and the environment.
The company's focus areas regarding agriculture, packaging, water, climate, products, and people, show us that PepsiCo's strategy involves several innovative approaches towards a circular economy.
The abovementioned environmental benefits can be confirmed as PepsiCo´s 2020 Sustainability Report Summary specifies the actions towards: Spread of regenerative farming practices; avoidance of significant units of single-use plastic bottles; operational and agricultural water-use efficiency; absolute elimination of GHG emissions across the company´s direct operations.
On the other hand, the social concerns can be implied from the actions regarding the protection of products and more than 290,000 associates during the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the strategy regarding the reduction of added sugars, sodium and saturated fats across their products portfolio.
If we translate the above into the Sustainable Development Goals, the following goals would be the ones that would apply:
3. Health and Wellbeing
17. Partnerships for the Goals
7. Affordable and Clean Energy
12. Responsible Consumption and Production
13. Climate Action
Luis Zavaleta, LaTam Enviromental and Sustainable Director
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Monterrey, Nuevo León, MX
Business Website: https://www.pepsico.com.mx/
Year Founded: 1898
Number of Employees: 10000+
According to the company website, PepsiCo is one of the world's leading food and beverage companies serving more than 200 countries and territories around the world.