I’ve just returned from a trip to Europe that demonstrated the growing acknowledgment of PepsiCo’s work in the world of water.
In recognition of PEP’s commitment to respect the human right to water and our recent report on the Positive Water Impact initiative, the Swedish Water House invited me to speak on the complementary roles of governments and companies with respect to water. The setting was the Kulturhuset in Stockholm, an open setting where coffee shops, libraries, displays and seating areas flow together. The seminar was part of a two-day series of discussions, films and presentations on the broader topic of human rights. Daniel Yeo of WaterAid and I had a 30-minute discussion of what PepsiCo has achieved, what challenges we’ve faced, and what lies ahead. I was happy to share news about PepsiCo Foundation’s recent commitment to Water.org ($8 million dollars to help provide access to safe water for 800,000 people through WaterCredit). Ensuring access to clean water is critical to the success and sustainability of our business, and to the communities in which PepsiCo operates. Working with partners like Water.org, Safe Water Network and Columbia University’s Earth Institute is instrumental in our commitment to global water stewardship.
While in Stockholm, I also met with staff members of Amnesty International, WaterAid, and Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) for discussions of PepsiCo’s continuing efforts to integrate Human Right to Water into our operations and businesses. In addition to organizing the Stockholm World Water Week conference every summer, SIWI works on human right to water issues with the United Nations Development Program and the Water Integrity Network, whose focus is reducing corruption in the water sector.
I also attended the launch of the Carbon Disclosure Project’s 2011 Water Report in London. PepsiCo was recently named to the 2011 CDP’s Global 500 Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index for our carbon reporting, and we have participated in CDP’s water survey since its inception in 2010. During the launch, PepsiCo’s Boxford plant was recognized for its water leadership by the keynote speaker, Peter Unwin, the executive director of Environment and Rural for the UK’s DEFRA. In response to a question about managing risk by working locally and cooperating with the community, he talked about Boxford’s 30% reduction in water use. Congratulations to the Boxford team for their achievement and their communication of results!
I am really proud to be part of an effort that’s making progress in something as universally important as water – from plant efficiency to watershed protection to community access, PepsiCo is recognized as a leader in water saving and sharing!