PepsiCo Adds Renewable Energy Access to Pep+

Lisa Johnston
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Pep+ Renew seeks to educate the CPG’s value chain partners about their renewable electricity choices.

PepsiCo has extended its Pep+ initiative to help its business and supply chain partners increase access to renewable electricity.  

The No. 3 consumer goods company has teamed with Schneider Electric for Pep+ Renew, a collaboration that wants to accelerate the adoption of renewable electricity to foster a food system that’s both carbon-efficient and more resilient.

The ultimate goals of Pep+ Renew are designed to educate the CPG’s value chain partners about their renewable electricity choices. It also seeks to speed transition to renewable electricity through aggregate power purchase agreements (PPAs) and other renewable electricity procurement options.

This program hopes to help SMBs overcome common obstacles in the renewable electricity market, including an inability to participate because of the company’s size, a lack of education on the ins and outs of renewable electricity transactions, and an additional need for help with the complexities of a PPA.

Pep+ – pronounced “Pep Positive” — is PepsiCo’s corporate initiative that’s focused on driving sustainability and health throughout all aspects of its enterprise and operations, as well as effecting positive change in the world. As part of this, the company recently marked World Water Day with a series of water-saving programs, including  developing technology to recover more than half of the water used in its potato chip manufacturing.

The company has also brought to market a compostable bag for its Off the Eaten Path brand that’s made with plant-based materials; as part of Pep+, it will license to other CPGs at no cost.

“We’re now getting to a point where we recognize as PepsiCo and Frito-Lay [that] we have a very large footprint, and we need to lead in the space and lead our industry,” said Bart LaCount, VP of consumer insights for PepsiCo Foods North America, on the company’s sustainability ambitions in a recent panel.   

“We recognize we have a responsibility as leader of a category to help drive the change that we want to see. … It can be good for business, and it can be good for consumers.”

[See also: Topics in 10 With PepsiCo’s John Phillips]

This latest energy initiative aligns with PepsiCo’s goal to achieve 100% renewable electricity by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2040. Fifteen of its markets have transitioned to renewable electricity — including the United States and Mexico, which are its first and second largest markets.

Jim Andrew, chief sustainability officer at PepsiCo, noted in a statement that the food and beverage company can’t achieve its net-zero emissions goal without its partners. “Through Pep+ REnew, we will encourage our partners to reduce their Scope 2 emissions through renewable electricity procurement, helping us meet our own Scope 3 goals,” he added.

PepsiCo is inviting partners to apply to participate in the first cohort of the program, and it expects to finalize a first buyer's cohort for an aggregate PPA by the end of this year.

Steve Wilhite, president of Schneider Electric’s sustainability business, said the partnership aspires to add more renewable electricity capacity to power grids around the world. The company will facilitate an education and project selection process across multiple phases with the intent of advancing supplier progress towards aggregated renewable electricity purchases.

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