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PepsiCo Shares Significant Progress on ESG Goals

The beverage and convenient foods maker more than doubled its regenerative farming footprint last year.
PepsiCo wind farm
Iberdrola México's PIER II is one of the windfarms that provides renewable energy to PepsiCo.

PURCHASE, N.Y. — PepsiCo Inc. is making significant progress on its environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals.

The beverage and convenient foods maker updated the progress in its 2022 Environmental, Social and Governance Summary, which is the first full year of reporting since the launch of PepsiCo Positive (pep+) in 2021.

[Read more: PepsiCo Launches First-of-Its-Kind Program to Accelerate Adoption of Renewable Energy]

Pep+ is an end-to-end transformation program touching virtually every aspect of PepsiCo's business — from how ingredients are grown; to how its iconic portfolio of products are made, moved and sold; to what choices are offered to consumers. Pep+ is the framework through which all actions on setting and working toward ESG targets are driven. 

PepsiCo's ESG goals include the areas of nutrition, agriculture, people and communities, water-use efficiency and safe water access. The company also continues to work toward driving down climate emissions and the use of virgin plastic.

The 2022 ESG report reveals:

  • For the second year, 75 percent of PepsiCo's convenient foods portfolio volume did not exceed 1.1 grams of saturated fat per 100 calories. The company initially achieved this goal in 2021, four years ahead of schedule. 
  • PepsiCo further reduced added sugars and sodium in its portfolio of products in 2022. Fifty-six percent of its beverage portfolio volume contains less than 100 calories from added sugars per 12-ounce serving, up from 53 percent in 2021.
  • Sixty-eight percent of the convenient food portfolio volume is at or below 1.3 milligrams of sodium per calorie, up from 66 percent in 2021.
  • The company more than doubled its regenerative farming footprint in 2022 to greater than 900,000 acres globally.
  • PepsiCo has helped farmers become more resilient and has reduced carbon emissions from agriculture by more than 330,000 metric tons — the equivalent of taking more than 73,000 cars off the road for a year.
  • Last year, PepsiCo surpassed the company's goal to achieve 10 percent Hispanic representation in U.S. managerial positions. PepsiCo has met this goal three years early. 
  • PepsiCo improved water-use efficiency by 22 percent in operations since 2015 in high water-risk areas, and is now approaching its 2025 goal of 25 percent.
  • The company provided safe water access to another 12 million people in 2022. PepsiCo has now provided safe water access to more than 80 million people since 2006.

"Decoupling our business growth from our resource use is always going to be difficult but meeting our long-term targets is critical and we are rapidly learning how and where we need to adjust. We issued $2.25 billion in green bonds since 2019, and we have made — and will continue to make — substantial investments toward key parts of our pep+ agenda, including becoming net zero and reducing the use of virgin plastics," said Jim Andrew, chief sustainability officer, PepsiCo. "We will also work diligently to remove barriers to progress, many of which are regulatory in nature. The challenges to addressing systemic issues are enormous and it will take a multistakeholder approach to get to where we all want to be."

[Read more: PepsiCo Sets Its Sights on Being Net Water Positive by 2030]

The company acknowledged that it aspires to greater progress for packaging and emissions reductions. PepsiCo is working on plans to help advance its goals in these areas, prioritizing actions which are expected to make the biggest difference. 

"PepsiCo is at the forefront, demonstrating how food companies and producers can collaborate effectively to cultivate sustainable, affordable and safe food. PepsiCo has made meaningful investments in agriculture, and they have led the way in engaging growers from the outset to ensure sustainability objectives are both attainable and mutually beneficial," said National Association of Wheat Growers CEO Chandler Goule.

PepsiCo is committed to providing transparent reporting and has been recognized by Corporate Secretary's Corporate Governance Awards for three consecutive years as "Best ESG Reporting" for a large cap company.

Complementing the 2022 ESG Summary, PepsiCo also published details on its approach and progress for more than 50 topics on the ESG Topics A-Z webpage. This year's digital summary and all associated downloadable assets are available here.

Purchase-based PepsiCo generated more than $86 billion in net revenue in 2022, driven by a complementary beverage and convenient foods portfolio that includes Lay's, Doritos, Cheetos, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Mountain Dew, Quaker and SodaStream.

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