Pepisco’s plans to go fossil fuel-free in the UK and Ireland by 2023 are entirely feasible – provided the company is prepared to pay, an analyst says.
Pepsico UK announced plans in its latest environmental sustainability report released last Friday, for its manufacturing and distribution operations in the UK and Ireland to be fossil fuel-free within the next 12 years. The company aims to achieve this goal by replacing its delivery fleet with low-emission vehicles, taking its manufacturing sites off the water grid and “weaning” its manufacturing and distribution sites off fossil fuels and onto renewable energy sources.
By 2026, Pepsico aims to meet all its operational energy needs from renewable sources. Currently 4% of its energy comes from renewables.
“It is a deliberately ambitious target that will require further fundamental change of our business and a policy framework that supports investment in low-carbon technology and infrastructure,” the company said, adding that meeting the goal would lend it a “competitive advantage” in the market.
Since 2008, Pepsico has reduced its carbon footprint by 3.7% while its business has grown by more than 15%, an achievement the company attributes largely to energy efficiency improvements and the “gradual shift” to renewables.
Pepsico is exploring options for onsite or off-site renewable power generation and possible power partnerships, the company said. It is also attempting to reduce water usage by recycling water from its potatoes for use in the chip manufacturing process.
As well as the eponymous cola drink, Pepsico UK brands include Walkers Crisps, Doritos and Quaker Oats.
David Cunningham, a clean-tech and renewables analyst at corporate finance group Altium Securities in London, said Pepsico’s goals for going fossil fuel free were both “reasonable” and “doable” . He said the company could feasibly meet its renewable energy objectives by pursuing energy options such as wind, solar, hydro and geo-thermal.
“Carbon neutrality is very much doable – if you’ve got the money,” he said, adding that an increasing number of leading corporate brands see the value in boosting their green credentials.
By. Charlotte Dudley
Source: Environmental Finance