Business / Companies

PepsiCo offers solutions to drinks industry

By Tang Zhihao (China Daily) Updated: 2015-06-04 10:02

PepsiCo offers solutions to drinks industry

A view of the PepsiCo R&D facility in Shanghai. The company is adopting strict measures to maintain sustainable production in China and to ensure it is prepared for resource shortages. [Photo/China Daily]

PepsiCo, the United States food and beverage giant, says it is adopting strict measures to maintain sustainable production in China to ensure it is well prepared for any potential resources shortages in future.

Various industry professionals have been warning recently that multinational corporations, particularly those in the food and beverage sectors, are likely to face growing environmental and operational challenges in the country.

On top of more severe weather conditions, companies have had to deal with increased water shortages, growing energy costs and rising commodity prices, as well as land-fill restrictions and rising costs of packaging materials, including plastics.

Zhang Nongchu, PepsiCo China's associate director of R&D operations and safety management, said: "The company is committed to finding innovative ways to minimize its impact on the environment, to lower costs through energy and water conservation, as well as reduce the use of packaging."

Zhang said over the past two decades, PepsiCo has invested heavily in building leadership in energy and environmental design-certified facilities across China to increase energy efficiency and lower emissions.

The LEED rating system was created by the United States Green Building Council, and is considered to be the world's most influential standard in evaluating the environmental design and sustainability of buildings.

Zhang said PepsiCo's Asia research and development center in Shanghai, for instance, has become a role model for the company's energy-saving practices around the world, after being awarded a gold LEED certificate in 2013.

By using water-saving equipment including rainwater collection systems and advanced sewage treatment methods, Zhang said the center has been able to reduce its water use by 81 percent.

Employees have also been encouraged to use their cars less with limited car-parking spaces available. Only those who drive small and low-emission vehicles are allowed to park near the site's front gates.

The R&D center has cut its lighting bill by 16 percent, too, by utilizing natural light in more than 90 percent of its office space, and installing light and motion sensors in non-natural light areas.

It has also installed the latest 3-D technology in its bottle-design processes, resulting in lower raw material use and quicker production times, which in some cases have been reduced from three months to just 24 hours.

PepsiCo has seven LEED-certified facilities in China, including its Nanchang drinks production plant, which was first built in 1988 and renovated in 2010.

The plant was awarded LEED gold certification shortly after reopening in 2010, becoming the company's first in Asia to achieve such recognition.

"We promote a 'Less is More' concept throughout our production process and pay great attention to practices such as water recycling and the use of recycled materials," said Xiong Shi, manager of the Nanchang plant.

Xiong said the site now uses 33 percent less water, and 54 percent less energy as a result of the upgrading. The company's efforts at promoting environmental protection in China have received widespread recognition.

PepsiCo in 2012 set up its strategic alliance with Tingyi, whose subsidiary, Tingyi-Asahi Beverages, became PepsiCo's franchise bottler in China responsible for exclusively manufacturing, selling and distributing PepsiCo's carbonated soft drink and Gatorade brands.

The strategic alliance has generated positive results for both companies since being formed.

The Tingyi-PepsiCo strategic alliance received 93 model company awards from the CBIA annual conference for energy and water-saving in China's beverage industry, and the awards taken by the alliance accounted for over 50 percent of the total awards given to the whole beverage industry in 2013.

In December 2014, the alliance received 93 energy-saving and water-conservation awards from the CBIA annual conference. In addition, PepsiCo GCR was awarded 2014 Outstanding CSR Enterprise of China Beverage Industry.

Zhao Yali, chairman of the China Beverage Industry Association, said: "We need more green-benchmark companies like PepsiCo to help promote sustainable development across the whole of the Chinese beverage industry.

"The green concepts and environmental protection experiences of PepsiCo will help more enterprises convert their green slogans into action."

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