PepsiCo’s Strategic Approach to Global Water Stewardship

Global Water Stewardship

The phenomenon of climate change, coupled with prolonged periods of drought and burgeoning societal needs, has progressively imposed a weighty strain upon the global reservoir of water. According to UNICEF, an estimated half of the Earth’s inhabitants may find themselves inhabiting regions grappling with the specter of water scarcity by the onset of 2025. Consequently, enterprises such as PepsiCo are impelled to undertake concerted efforts aimed at ameliorating this scarcity through the mobilization of their acumen and resources.

Water management has always been a central focus at PepsiCo, recognizing its vital role in business operations and the cultivation of a sustainable value chain. As a pioneer among corporations, PepsiCo acknowledges water access as a fundamental human right. With a steadfast commitment, the company aims to achieve a net-positive water impact by 2030, striving to enhance water resources in all areas of operation, thus leaving a lasting positive legacy.

PepsiCo's Strategic Approach to Global Water Stewardship

To realize this aspiration, PepsiCo has embraced a “net-positive water” strategy, that entails enhancing water efficiency throughout its rate chain. Moreover, the corporation is dedicated to refill water sources in areas facing severe water stress, ensuring that bowls retain more than 100% of the water utilized by 2030. Beyond mere volume considerations, PepsiCo aims to increase watershed health significantly. By the year 2025, the corporation schedule to adhere to the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) Standard, further solidifying its commitment. Additionally, PepsiCo is intently working to enlarge connection to secure water for association grappling with water insecurity.

At the heart of long-term transformation lies the necessity for widespread scale, collaboration, and involvement from all vested parties. However, the significance of purposeful endeavors and programs tailored to address local exigencies on a smaller scale cannot be emphasized enough. This localized approach stands as a pivotal strategic element for any entity striving to achieve overarching water stewardship objectives and milestones.

Irrespective of your company’s size or the stage of your water stewardship journey, there are three fundamental concepts to steer your organization’s water layering endeavors and practical actions on the ground:

1. Comprehend the distinct requirements of both the watershed and the community you’re assisting

Efforts to comprehending the distinct water challenges confronting every community within your operational sphere. Water, inherently, is a local concern, demanding that replenishment initiatives be finely tuned to address the array of pressures affecting water availability in specific regions. This may entail supporting endeavors such as groundwater recharge, restoration of wetlands, or financing the development of new drinking water infrastructure. Enhancing water resources in one locale may vastly contrast with replenishment efforts in a region susceptible to drought.

In the expanse of the Verde River watershed, esteemed as one of Arizona‚Äôs pivotal aquatic arteries, PepsiCo has recently pledged financial support to the Salt River Project (SRP) Resilient Water and Forest Restoration Project. This endeavor is dedicated to the rejuvenation of the forest’s framework, composition, and operational capacity within a 1,450-acre expanse of the watershed crucial for providing water to the Phoenix metropolitan region. Numerous sectors of the watershed face imminent peril from wildfires, posing a threat to SRP’s capacity to furnish dependable water to the community of Phoenix. Engaging in the restoration of segments within the Verde River watershed not only presents PepsiCo with an opportunity to ameliorate the existing environmental degradation but also to augment the watershed’s functionality, thereby fortifying SRP’s capacity to ensure resilient water provisions for the Phoenix metropolitan aregion.

PepsiCo’s Commitment to Water Stewardship in Texas

An insightful comprehension of these indigenous obstacles stands as the initial and paramount stride toward realizing palpable outcomes. Throughout this journey, corporations may commence by harnessing their internal assets and connections, engaging in dialogue with local residents and stakeholders, inclusive of fellow enterprises operating within the identical basin.

In the state of Texas, PepsiCo has forged a partnership with the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA) to replace deteriorating infrastructure, thereby aiding in the mitigation of water stock losses crucial for the sustenance of thousands of Texas inhabitants, businesses, and wildlife habitats within the adjacent basin. GBRA, entrusted with the task of nurturing, conserving, and safeguarding water reservoirs within the Guadalupe River Basin, possesses the local expertise necessary to ensure that endeavors are concentrated on implementing measures with the most significant impact. Given that several corporate facilities rely on water sourced from the basin, PepsiCo bears a substantial responsibility in contributing to the replenishment of this vital water source.

Understanding the interests and obstacles encountered by individuals using the watershed is important to taking effective action. Take, for instance, the approach used by PepsiCo. They utilize the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) Standard to pinpoint regional water challenges and involve community members in devising solutions that bring about meaningful change. PepsiCo aims to embrace the AWS Standard across all its facilities facing significant water hazards by 2025. To gain this, associates worldwide have participated in AWS coaching period, providing essential support for applying the Standard in facilities aligned with this objective.

2. Establish methods for identifying and quantifying success.

Establishing clear, quantifiable science-based objectives from the outset is essential for gaining success. For instance, a company might aim to quantify the volume of replenished water, the volume of treated water, and/or improved access to drinking water. Equally important is ensuring that local partners are in agreement regarding the metrics of success and implementing a robust strategy for accumulating data and monitoring growth over time. While focusing on the primary measurable goal, it’s also prudent to consider the additional advantages of the project.
Throughout 2022, PepsiCo initiated a journey to aid the Colorado River Basin, is recognized as one of the world’s most parched areas. This endeavor involved a collaboration with the nonprofit organization, with a primary focus on constructing a mile-long to link some sections of the Colorado River. Upon completion, this job anticipates the restoration of more than 40 hectares of natural riparian zone, facilitating the passage of migratory fish type like Brown Trout, and recharges more than 350 million gallons of water annually. By maintaining transparent updates throughout the process and comprehending the job’s contribution to enhancing water flexibility in the region, The Company can adapt as necessary to ensure continued progress towards their planned impact and range of this action.
Collaboration thrives on adaptability, and maintaining a record of tangible outcomes also empowers companies and their collaborators to experiment, refine strategies, and spark creative solutions that can be implemented, expanded, and shared by others down the line.

3. Integrate your water stewardship initiative with your company’s overarching sustainability objectives. 

Before delving into any watershed initiatives, it’s crucial for your company to evaluate its overall impact on water and establish precise, science-driven objectives that each local initiative contributes to. Collaborating with a water consultant or nonprofit organization serves as an excellent initial move for those venturing into their water journey, as they can provide additional support to ensure that project selection aligns with both company sustainability objectives and the specific needs of the local watershed and community.
PepsiCo is deeply committed to ensuring a sustainable water supply for all communities it serves across its operational footprint by 2030. This commitment is not just a goal but a guiding principle influencing every aspect of the company’s operations and driving its water-related initiatives forward.
Water stewardship stands as an integral part of a company’s comprehensive sustainability roadmap. Continuously evaluating the impact and effectiveness of localized water initiatives is essential in advancing broader, future-oriented goals. By leveraging appropriate tools, forging strategic partnerships, and implementing robust metrics for success at the grassroots level, companies can catalyze substantial global change, benefiting both present communities and generations to follow.

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