You might remember last month I wrote about what PepsiCo is doing to respect water as a human right by providing safe drinking water for people across the globe and also how I’ve been making small changes at my own home to be a part of the solution. As we celebrate Blog Action Day and its focus on water this year, I thought it might be helpful to show just how important water conservation is to PepsiCo by sharing a few examples of what we’re doing.
The old saying, “if you treasure it, you’ll measure it” is very true, and applies to water for sure! We are implementing a tool at all of our PepsiCo manufacturing facilities which allows the plant to measure all of their water streams, and also assign a relative value to each of those streams. This has been great for the people in our facilities—who are the real experts at saving water—and some of the best ideas for water conservation have been a result. We are piloting innovative treatment and reuse of our process water at our plants in Tingalpa, Australia, and Casa Grande, Arizona. Our Tingalpa plant is using membrane technology which will allow them to reduce up to 67% of the plant’s water consumption. Similar technology is being installed at the Sakata plant in Melbourne, with a target reduction of over 85% once fully operational. Last year at Casa Grande, we achieved LEED EB Gold Certification due to the steps we’ve been taking at the facility to reduce the impact we make on our surroundings. Thanks to our state-of-the-art water filtration and purification system at the plant, we’re able to recycle and reuse up to 80% of the process water used in production.
We’re also focused on capturing the water that is naturally found in the potatoes we use to make potato chips. This water usually leaves the plant as steam, but we are trying to reuse this water at different points in the plant!
PepsiCo has been able to save more than 12 billion liters of water due to improvements we’ve made in operational procedures. Water conservation—as a company, and as individuals—is an important element of respecting water as a human right. And earlier this month the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship called out PepsiCo’s goal to provide access to clean water for 3 million people by 2015.
Water scarcity issues are a global epidemic and it requires all of our attention and focus. I commend Change.org and Blog Action Day for focusing their attentions on water this year. It’s my hope that with continued awareness from consumers and support from large corporations like PepsiCo, access to safe water will no longer be a concern.