How PepsiCo will Achieve its First Net Zero Plant next year

PepsiCo’s plant in Northern Spain, is aiming to become its first plant globally to reach net-zero emissions by 2025 (Credit: @PepsiCoEU on X)
PepsiCo's Álava Beverage Plant in Spain aims to achieve net-zero emissions by 2025, making it the company's first globally

Food and beverage giant PepsiCo has announced that its 50-year-old plant in Northern Spain, is aiming to become PepsiCo's first plant globally to reach net-zero emissions by 2025.

How the factory is ahead of its deadline

PepsiCo says that this achievement follows an investment of US$29m, dedicated to innovation and sustainability projects in the plant over the past five years, as well as investment in decarbonisation-focused electrification projects.

The plant, in the Álava Basque Country, produces Pepsi, as well as local brands KAS and Bitter KAS.

Using electricity from renewable sources since 2015, the electrification project, following a pilot programme, will replace the remaining natural gas with electric energy, enabling 100% electrification of the factory.

According to PepsiCo, the electrification of the plant’s operations will eliminate 1,849 tons of CO2 per year.

Pol Codina, General Manager of PepsiCo in Southwestern Europe, says: “I am tremendously proud that our beverage plant in Álava aims to become the first in our company worldwide to have net-zero emissions next year.

Pol Codina, General Manager of PepsiCo in Southwestern Europe (Credit: LinkedIn)

“This brilliant news coincides with a very special date for us, our 50th anniversary. We are aware that we still have a long way to go to decarbonise our entire value chain and, to do so, we hope to be able to count on the maximum collaboration of all our partners.”

Pep+

This latest achievement follows the launch of PepsiCo’s comprehensive sustainability framework, pep+, in 2021. This has encompassed a broad range of ESG initiatives across agricultural practices, climate, water and packaging sustainability, and consumer health.

The company has set sustainability goals including achieving net-zero emissions by 2040, 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement, and becoming water positive by 2030. Additionally, Spain has served as a pilot for tethered caps, a year ahead of the European regulation.

The next-generation pep+, launched in 2021, has been described by Chairman and CEO Ramon Laguarta as “the future of our company" and is built on three pillars:

  • Positive Agriculture – sustainably sourcing ingredients and improving agricultural practices and farmer livelihoods
  • Positive Value Chain – helping to build a circular and inclusive value chain
  • Positive Choices – evolving the company’s food and beverages so they are better for people and the planet.

This initiative is part of PepsiCo’s strategic transformation, which aims to reduce the company's global emissions by 75% in its direct operations and 40% in its indirect operations by 2030. PepsiCo is targeting net-zero emissions by 2040, as well as supporting Positive Agriculture, recently backing eight new innovation projects across the globe with a US$30m investment.

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PepsiCo committed to sustainability efforts

The same year as the framework, in Spain, the company launched 100% recycled plastic bottles across its entire Pepsi range, as well as a new cardboard solution for grouping cans. In 2022, PepsiCo also announced a deal with Iberdrola to source renewable energy to power 100% of its Spain and Portugal sites.

This announcement comes after the opening of PepsiCo’s most sustainable factory in Europe last year at Środa Śląska in Poland.

The Środa Śląska plant incorporates innovative sustainability solutions that exemplify a circular economy, including rainwater collection for reuse and rooftop solar panels for energy generation. The plant aims to achieve climate neutrality by 2035.

Archana Jagannathan, Chief Sustainability Officer, PepsiCo Europe (Credit: LinkedIn)

Archana Jagannathan, Chief Sustainability Officer, PepsiCo Europe, said: “As one of the largest food and drink companies in the world, we know we have a critical role to play in addressing climate change. This huge milestone for our Spanish plant is a testament to our determination to transition to net zero across our entire value chain, leading the move towards a more sustainable future for our planet and people.”

Jim Andrew, Executive Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer at PepsiCo will speak at Sustainability LIVE New York.

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