Coca-Cola and PepsiCo Choose Green Energy

The fizz in your favorite drinks from beverage majors, Coke and Pepsi, will increasingly be powered by renewable energy. The two companies are setting firm deadlines for energy sustainability, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and increasing renewable energy adoption.

PepsiCo recently announced it would source 100% renewable electricity across all company-owned and controlled operations globally by 2030, across its franchises and third-party operators by 2040.

Coca-Cola, on the other hand, has set a deadline of 2030 for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 25% from a 2015 base-year.

With PepsiCo’s scale, the transition to 100% renewables holds the potential to reduce approximately 2.5 million metric tons of GHG emissions by 2040. It is equivalent to taking half a million cars off the road for a full year. PepsiCo’s announcement builds upon its global efforts to increase renewable energy usage in the U.S., its largest market.

For Coca Cola, fully achieving its goal will require it to innovate and adapt on topics ranging from cold drinks equipment, ingredient or packaging, and sourcing. It plans to increase climate efforts with supplier engagement programs on cold drink equipment and renewable energy. The company is partnering with suppliers, customers, peers and competitors, NGO stakeholders, and governments in new ways to shape programs and policies that drive impact.

“With the devastating effects of climate change being felt around the world,…accelerated action is needed,” said Jim Andrew, PepsiCo’s Chief Sustainability Officer. PepsiCo realizes the responsibility that comes with its size and scale. For the multi-billion dollar beverages maker, transitioning to 100% renewable will deliver meaningful impact.

To adopt green energy, Coca Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) has ramped up its solar power generation capacity at seven out of 13 manufacturing facilities. The target is to install solar power at 12 plants by 2020. It aims to generate up to 18,313 MWh per year or 11% of its total electricity demand on 2019 usage.

PepsiCo, on the other hand, procures renewable electricity in 18 countries, nine of which already uses 100% renewable sources. It aims to source 56% of its electricity through renewable sources globally by December 2020. PepsiCo will also continue to expand its list of onsite wind and solar projects at its facilities around the world.

The green energy target enables PepsiCo to join RE100, an initiative led by the Climate Group in partnership with CDP in bringing together the world’s most influential companies committed to 100% renewable electricity.

To achieve 100% renewable electricity globally, PepsiCo will employ a portfolio of solutions, including power purchase agreements and energy certificates. These will help the company achieve its green commitment in the short run while preparing for the longer term.

Utilizing solar power to meet their energy needs can serve a twofold purpose of cost-saving and reducing the carbon footprint. While many big companies have already set targets for reducing their carbon emissions, others have yet to incorporate sustainability into their portfolios. And, now would be the opportune time for them to get serious about sustainability. Previously, Mercom reported that companies operating in segments like FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) can help drive the overall demand for solar power.