Please visit to see the new & improved site.
Please visit to see the new & improved site.

Friday, January 30, 2009

PepsiCo Outreach to Suppliers

Earlier this week I attended PepsiCo's Supplier Outreach Sustainability Summit at their beautiful New York campus. In addition to hearing about PepsiCo’s approach to sustainability, much of the overall event was given over to not-for-profit organizations such as Carbon Disclosure Project, EPA and Rainforest Alliance to present their wares to the audience. I presented a breakout session on using ICT technologies to reduce carbon footprint.

I was impressed with the event:

· Nearly 100 of their most significant suppliers attended.
· Senior level executives from PepsiCo, their Chief Procurement Officer and VP of Procurement Operations, gave substantive and compelling sustainability presentations, addressing the hurdles as well as the easy parts of implementing sustainability initiatives.
· PepsiCo described how they have addressed the intersection between their core business and sustainability issues. In addition to energy and water conservation targets, their objectives include rebalancing their product profile to reflect a much higher proportion of nutritional and healthful products (I think it was 50%) and reformulating many of their other products for improved nutritional profile. These are real core business initiatives.
· And this was all underpinned with a comprehensive approach from PepsiCo on how they are going to engage with their suppliers on improving sustainability. I even met a PepsiCo employee, a professional environmental operations engineer, whose job is to work with their suppliers as a free consultancy resource to help the suppliers improve the environmental sustainability of their manufacturing processes.

Of course, for a vendor this adds yet another item to the requirements that have to be met to serve PepsiCo. Moreover, PepsiCo is a major customer for many companies – so the need to follow their lead is not insignificant. This is the sort of leadership role that is required from large corporations. As long as this supplier outreach dimension of their sustainability strategy is consistent with the other dimensions of their strategy and as long as it doesn’t compromise equally important, but perhaps different sustainability objectives of their vendors, I welcome it.


  1. The nature of stakeholder engagement is an ever evolving path of partner, advisor and champion. I was not surprised to see first hand the ties that Pepsi Co had established with their sustainability NGO partners. But, I was surprised how they have made the additional effort to integrate the NGO's amongst each other. That is a more sophisticated model and even more important, it builds a more cohesive strategy. It was clear that that effort continues as demonstrated by the interactions and references to each others work at the summit. Clearly, Pepsi Co is managing many complicated relationships to support a more unified approach to sustainability. It does not appear to be episodic which is even more reason to applaud their efforts.

  2. Kevin,

    In an article you mentioned that you met me and described my role as a environmental engineering consultant. That is part of my role, but my primary responsibility is to help our suppliers build resource
    conservation programs in their organizations that drive productivity and eventually self perpetuate without our assistance.

    PepsiCo is requiring those who partner with us to join us in our
    commitment to sustainability. Part of that commitment is to assign
    someone on that team the responsibility of leading their resource conservation program. The strategy is to integrate RC into the business process, set annual and long term reduction targets for fuel, electricity and water use and develop an organizational structure to work against these targets.

    The implementation requirements at the site level are to track metrics
    weekly (minimum), set and communicate goals, build teams/drive awareness, schedule a DOE IAC audit, join Energy Star and report metrics to PepsiCo. I also conduct training and provide access to webcasts to help build capability in their organizations.

    The implementation program is simple and focused on developing RC
    programs that will drive results for years to come. This is my goal. The visits are conducted with their teams and are normally instructive in nature. I'm also a resource/laison when they need to connect with experts in other fields that relate to resource conservation.

  3. Kevin - your blog has traveled many miles within PepsiCo with very positive reactions. So, thank you for the kind words.

    I frequently check your blogs and must compliment you on your content and writing style.

    As the Supplier Outreach Manager at PepsiCo, it is my hope that other companies seize this opportunity for their Enviornmental Stewardhship efforts. "Together WE can make a difference".

    Look forward to your future blogs.

  4. I am chairman of Manorenterprises India. We have supplied desuperheater water/Syrup warmers to 14 Nos Plants of PEPSICO in India. We are trying to locate right persons in Pepsico WORLDWIDE for the same PROVEN application.
    We are saving 800liters of FO per day in these plants. If you support we can save 80000 liters/day of FO in ALL PEPSICO plants! Just give us the email IDs of the right people.