A Discussion With Jim Andrew, PepsiCo’s Chief Sustainability Officer: Getting Closer To Global Plastic Circularity

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As nan hottest summertime connected grounds winds down and populations crossed nan globe conflict nan tumultuous effects of ambiance change, it’s an perfect clip to see really we, arsenic investors, corporations and consumers, tin make world integrative circularity an achievable goal. While we proceed to make advancement successful our work, what’s go strikingly evident pinch each passing twelvemonth is nan request to do more, faster. To lick tremendous biology challenges for illustration nan integrative discarded situation arsenic good arsenic nan related impacts connected ambiance change, we request each actors moving together. We simply person excessively overmuch to do, nan problems are excessively complex, and clip is not connected our side.

Fortunately, location are galore ways stakeholders tin return corporate action – pinch peers, section communities, and governments – to expedite our way towards a wholly different measurement of addressing our narration pinch integrative and integrative waste.

I precocious sat down pinch Jim Andrew, Chief Sustainability Officer astatine PepsiCo PEP , Circulate Capital’s first investor, to study much astir really they are reasoning of their domiciled arsenic a world firm leader successful nan conflict to forestall integrative discarded and to perceive his thoughts connected nan domiciled of finance superior to thrust caller solutions. The pursuing is an excerpt from our discussion.

How has PepsiCo’s attack to sustainability evolved complete nan past decade, peculiarly pinch respect to pep+? How would you complaint your advancement truthful acold successful achieving your objectives?

Sustainability has been a long-standing privilege of ours, but nan biggest improvement took spot erstwhile PepsiCo Positive (pep+) – our strategical translator to thrust maturation while besides delivering a affirmative effect connected nan satellite and group – launched successful 2021. To alteration a translator of this magnitude, you can’t person sustainability siloed successful your organization. You person to embed it passim your business and successful each your decision-making. For astir 2 years, we person put pep+ astatine nan bosom of virtually each we do, and we’ve made meaningful progress, including connected our agriculture, water, people, and nutrition agendas. We besides proceed to attraction connected areas wherever we purpose to do more, specified arsenic packaging and c emissions and judge that by continuing to invest, standard proven innovation, and build new, strategical partnerships, we will proceed to thrust our transformation.

There is nary metallic slug to solving nan integrative contamination crisis. We request each actors progressive and aligned to lick this problem – from governments to NGOs to investors to costs and companies, arsenic good arsenic multinational corporations for illustration PepsiCo. How does PepsiCo deliberation astir nan powerfulness and value of corporate action and strategical partnerships successful position of creating circularity astatine standard and crossed industries?

The value of business and moving toward a communal ambition cannot beryllium overstated because, arsenic you said, galore of nan challenges to circularity can’t beryllium flooded by immoderate azygous organization. Overhauling existing systems, building infrastructure, and establishing effective regulatory frameworks – these require collaboration pinch galore different stakeholders, and PepsiCo is engaged successful a assortment of consortia and initiatives to thief displacement nan full strategy successful a much sustainable direction.

It’s done these partnerships and corporate action that we tin accelerate solutions, whether by scaling nan readiness and usage of sustainable materials, uncovering ways for groups passim nan worth concatenation to activity amended together, aliases elevating calls to action for amended biology outcomes done sound argumentation design. For example, we are portion of nan NextGen Cup Consortium and Composting Consortium to co-create solutions alongside our peers successful areas of reuse and compostable packaging. The shared challenges we look require corporate solutions, and truthful each actors successful nan worth concatenation person to activity together.

What is nan domiciled of finance capital, and much specifically catalytic capital, successful driving a circularity agenda?

Investment superior is nan “fuel” to thrust our pep+ agenda, and we’re making important investments, including proceeds from nan issuance of $2.25 cardinal successful Green Bonds since 2019. But an individual company’s finance tin only spell truthful far. Catalytic finance and allocating superior wherever it tin beryllium astir impactful is captious to circularity if we are to thrust nan level of resources required to reside nan size and complexity of nan challenges, particularly astir nan collection, sortation, and translator of packaging materials. It’s what led PepsiCo to go a founding investor successful Circulate Capital 5 years ago. Pooled superior enables pre-competitive solutions and magnifies our individual efforts, and, arsenic a result, we tin thief standard nan financial, environmental, and societal action needed to trim integrative contamination successful South and Southeast Asia.

Art of Hoping

Art of Hoping connected Unsplash

What are immoderate of nan systems’ barriers to achieving circularity?

We judge location are 3 systemic changes needed to thrust a information economy:

1) Better collection, sortation, and recycling infrastructure, supported by well-designed policies that incentivize a information plastics proviso chain. As a personnel of nan Business Coalition for a Global Plastics Treaty, which supports nan improvement of a world pact to extremity integrative pollution, we judge that harmonized goals and standards, alongside well-designed and well-run Extended Producer Responsibility policies, person nan imaginable to spur accelerated advancement towards a information economy.

2) Ability to usage recycled integrative successful packaging. While we person seen activity successful this regard, immoderate markets still don’t let recycled contented successful food-grade packaging. However, incorporating 100% recycled integrative (rPET) into packaging is only imaginable if capable proviso is available, truthful it’s arsenic important that nan integrative is recycled optimally. For america astatine PepsiCo, that intends bottles being recycled backmost into bottles.

3) Support for reuse, some functionally and from a argumentation perspective. Policymakers often attraction connected refillable models to meet reuse standards, but models specified arsenic reuse astatine home, which has 1 of nan simplest loops, must beryllium portion of nan solution arsenic well. We want to prosecute pinch policymakers and others passim nan worth concatenation to guarantee that reuse successful each its forms is simplified and incentivized.

Demand plays a important domiciled successful nan information economy's success. How does PepsiCo deliberation astir engaging consumers successful these discussions and enlisting their support successful creating a much circular, sustainable future?

For a successful information economy, everyone, including consumers, has a domiciled to play. But, changing user behaviors that person been entrenched for decades and making recycling nan norm is nary mini feat, peculiarly erstwhile convenient entree to recycling is constricted successful galore parts of nan world. We request to make recycling nan convenient and preferred option, which intends location needs to beryllium amended infrastructure successful place. To thief support that, since 2018, PepsiCo and nan PepsiCo Foundation person committed to put much than $100 cardinal successful world recycling business initiatives to thief elevate recycling rates and discarded collection.

As nan world’s second-largest nutrient and beverage company, we besides person an opportunity to usage nan standard of our business and nan powerfulness of our brands to thief amended and prosecute consumers. That tin manifest by adding recycling messages to our advertizing and packaging, engaging successful campaigns specified arsenic nan “Journey to Zero Waste” programme successful Thailand aliases “Eureciclo” successful Brazil, aliases moreover leveraging our trading sponsorships. In fact, conscionable this year, we collaborated pinch UEFA EFA astatine nan Champions League finals successful Turkey and nan Netherlands to present returnable packaging for nutrient and drinks and offered each of our products successful 100% recyclable packaging.

Given your world footprint, I’m funny really you deliberation astir customizing your sustainability objectives for nan different regions wherever you operate. And since India is of specified strategical value to your business (as good arsenic ours), tin you talk your activity location from a sustainability perspective?

Our products are enjoyed by consumers successful much than 200 markets astir nan world, truthful we person world goals and approaches that we customize to meet section regulations and infrastructure realities. Our business besides has some company-owned operations and a web of franchise bottlers, which adds complexity to really we rotation retired our strategy. However, while each state is different, location are immoderate commonalities that spend america nan opportunity to use learnings and expertise crossed different markets and our bottlers, wherever they are successful their journey. In India, specifically, we precocious were capable to return a large measurement guardant successful our sustainable packaging pinch nan motorboat of Pepsi Black, India’s first carbonated beverage to beryllium sold successful 100% recycled plastic, successful collaboration pinch section integrative recycling institution Srichakra Polyplast. Moving to 100% rPET bottles tin trim greenhouse state emissions by astir 30% per bottle, but until recently, regulations successful India did not let nan usage of recycled integrative successful food-grade packaging. Circulate Capital’s anterior finance successful Srichakra to build India’s first food-grade recycling installation — moreover earlier this awesome argumentation alteration — allowed america to move guardant accelerated pinch our plans.

How astir nan crossover betwixt biology and societal impact? The information system besides presents nan world pinch unprecedented opportunities to create much sustainable and inclusive worth chains. How tin nan backstage assemblage amended capitalize connected these opportunities to rethink its proviso chains to assistance nan lives of section communities?

pep+ is focused connected having a affirmative effect connected some nan satellite and people.

With respect to processing a information economy, we’re striving to beforehand a safe and inclusive discarded guidance strategy for those moving informally successful nan sector. The informal recycling system exists crossed nan globe, filling nan spread where, unfortunately, recycling options are lacking. However, informal assemblage workers often run successful unsafe conditions, without employment benefits, and acquisition income disparity. We judge it’s important that argumentation related to discarded guidance should see nan livelihoods and well-being of informal discarded assemblage workers, and successful support of that, PepsiCo has signed onto nan Fair Circularity Principles launched by TearFund and brands successful 2022 to create a conscionable modulation towards a information economy.

We besides support a number of community-based initiatives that enact existent change. For example, nan PepsiCo Foundation and PepsiCo India person established a business pinch Recity, a section discarded guidance organization, to move Mathura-Vrindavan into 1 of nan cleanest cities successful nan state and empower and professionalize nan section discarded workforce. The programme seeks to animate corporate action to combat integrative contamination while besides addressing issues of gender and economical disparity.

Can you time off america pinch 1 takeaway connected what our biggest world privilege should beryllium erstwhile it comes to integrative circularity?

PepsiCo will proceed transforming successful nan areas we tin power – prioritizing world and section investments, scaling proven invention and technologies, and building strategical partnerships that tin make nan biggest difference. But nan bottommost statement is that nary of america tin do this connected our own. We request system-wide changes, and we request everyone to play their portion and return corporate action. We request well-designed argumentation changes to incentivize a information economy. We request pooled superior investments and innovation, including scalable upgrades to recycling, discarded management, and reuse infrastructure. We request much readiness and usage of recycled materials. Plastic circularity tin beryllium a reality, but we must build it together.


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