It was wonderful to return to my alma mater, Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management, a couple weeks ago to attend the 61st anniversary of the Harry E. Salzberg Memorial Program, an annual celebration of achievements in supply chain management. Equally exciting as recalling memories while I walked around campus, I had the distinct privilege of accepting the prestigious Salzberg Medallion – one of the most esteemed awards in the field of transportation and supply chain management – on behalf of PepsiCo for its sustainability efforts.
As PepsiCo’s CFO and a Syracuse alumnus, it’s an honor to be recognized for our work around the globe. We touch the lives of tens of millions of people everyday through a whole host of brands, including Frito-Lay, Tropicana, Pepsi, Gatorade and more. With this comes a responsibility to bring sustainable solutions to people and their communities. This can be best summed up in something we at PepsiCo like to call “Performance with Purpose.”
Through Performance with Purpose, we look at ways to improve our business and society by investing in the communities we serve, our people and our planet. Much of PepsiCo’s progress to date is due in large part to a broader Environmental Sustainability strategy that focuses on three specific areas: water, land and climate.
In all of these areas, we look inside and outside our operations to figure out how we can relieve stress on the environment and generally be a better corporate citizen. For example, we’re currently working with a group called Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) — a group founded by the Whitman School that does tremendous work to open the door to business ownership for our disabled soldiers after they return home — on an exciting recycling program. Through the deployment of computerized recycling kiosks and static bins we call “Dream Machines,” PepsiCo hopes to encourage people to recycle by offering them points that are redeemable for any number of rewards. The more bottles and cans recycled in a Dream Machine, the more that PepsiCo will donate to EBV. It’s a winning proposition for everyone involved.
I’m humbled by the fact that this is just one step on PepsiCo’s sustainability journey; it surely doesn’t end with the acceptance of the Salzberg Award. This award reminds me that we’ve made great strides in delivering on our promise of Performance with Purpose and that we still have much work to do in order for our local communities to thrive for years to come.