PURCHASE, N.Y. — PepsiCo, Inc. is making a major push toward sourcing electricity from renewable sources, pledging to achieve 100% renewable electricity in its U.S. direct operations this year. The United States is PepsiCo’s largest market, accounting for nearly half of its total global electricity consumption.
“We have entered a decade that will be critical for the future of our planet’s health,” said Ramon Laguarta, chairman and chief executive officer of PepsiCo. “PepsiCo is pursuing 100% renewable electricity in the U.S. because the severe threat that climate change poses to the world demands faster and bolder action from all of us.”
To reach its goal, PepsiCo said it plans to incorporate a variety of solutions, including Power Purchase Agreements (P.P.A.s), Virtual Power Purchase Agreements (V.P.P.A.s) and renewable energy certificates (R.E.C.s). P.P.A.s and V.P.P.A.s are used to finance the development of new renewable electricity projects such as solar and wind farms, while R.E.C.s are credits certified by independent third parties that support existing green electricity generation from renewable sources.
PepsiCo said it plans to add more R.E.C.s in 2020, while additional P.P.A.s and V.P.P.A.s will be added by 2025.
Additionally, PepsiCo said it will continue to expand its onsite renewable electricity. The company said it recently installed new solar panels at its global headquarters in Purchase, which builds on its solar energy installations already in place at Frito-Lay facilities in Modesto, Calif., and Casa Grande, Ariz., as well as PepsiCo beverage plants in Fresno, Calif., and Tolleson, Ariz.
PepsiCo said it expects its shift to renewable electricity in the United States to deliver a 20% reduction in company-wide direct operations greenhouse gas emissions relative to a 2015 baseline. If it is able to achieve its goal, PepsiCo would be well on its way to its earlier stated goal of reducing absolute greenhouse gas emission across its global value chain by 20% by 2030 against a 2015 baseline.
“As an industry leader, we have a responsibility to help spur the use of renewable energy in the U.S., while encouraging the kind of systemic change that can build a more sustainable food system,” said Simon Lowden, chief sustainability officer at PepsiCo. “This is another step forward in that journey.”
PepsiCo already has made great strides in renewable electricity outside of the United States. The company said nine countries in its European direct operations already meet 100% of their electricity demand from renewable sources. Additionally, in 2018, 76% of the electricity needs of the PepsiCo Mexico Foods business were delivered via wind energy, PepsiCo said.