PepsiCo’s Spain plant first to go net zero globally by 2025

Posted on 9 May 2024 by The Manufacturer

PepsiCo has announced that its beverage plant in Northern Spain aims to become the company’s first plant globally to reach net-zero emissions by 2025.

The beverage plant, in Álava Basque Country, which produces iconic brands such as Pepsi, as well as local brands KAS and Bitter KAS, aims to reach net zero emissions next year, thanks to the electrification of the plant’s operations, leading to the elimination of 1,849 tonnes of CO2 per year.

The production plant has been using electricity from renewable sources since 2015 and now, thanks to this decarbonization project, natural gas will be replaced by electric energy to reach the goal of 100% electrification of the facilities following a two-year pilot programme.

In addition to the EUR 5 million that was invested in the electrification project, PepsiCo allocated a further EUR 27 million over the last five years for improvement projects, both in terms of innovation and sustainability. This includes new packaging equipment, closer warehousing to avoid transportation, as well as the implementation of more efficient processes.

This milestone follows the launch of 100% recycled plastic bottles across the entire Pepsi range in Spain in 2021 and a new cardboard solution for grouping cans.

In addition, Spain has been a pilot for tethered caps one year in advance of the European regulation. This initiative is part of PepsiCo’s end-to-end strategic transformation, PepsiCo Positive, which aims to reduce emissions globally by 75% in its direct operations and 40% in its indirect operations by 2030. PepsiCo is aiming for net-zero emissions by 2040.

Pol Codina, General Manager of PepsiCo in Southwestern Europe, said, “I am tremendously proud that our beverage plant in Álava aims to become the first in our company worldwide to have net-zero emissions next year. This brilliant news coincides with a very special date for us, our 50th anniversary. We are aware that we still have a long way to go to decarbonize our entire value chain and, to do so, we hope to be able to count on the maximum collaboration of all our partners.”

Archana Jagannathan, Chief Sustainability Officer, PepsiCo Europe, said: “As one of the largest food and drink companies in the world, we know we have a critical role to play in addressing climate change. This huge milestone for our Spanish plant is a testament to our determination to transition to net-zero across our entire value chain, leading the move towards a more sustainable future for our planet and people.”

Basque Country Minister of Economic Development, Sustainability and Environment,  Arantxa Tapia, said: “The commitment to decarbonize the industrial process of the Álava plant, with all the investment and effort that this entails, is an example to follow. A measure completely aligned with the industrial policy of the Basque Government, that is, with the commitment to sustainable development in general and the decarbonization of the industry in particular. It’s an example for the rest of the Basque industry and a source of pride to see that the first PepsiCo factory to be transformed is the Etxabarri Ibiña plant”.

This announcement follows the opening of PepsiCo’s most sustainable factory in Europe last year in Poland. The Środa Śląska plant uses new sustainability solutions that demonstrate aspects of a circular economy in action, such as collecting rainwater for reuse and generating its own energy via rooftop solar panels, with the plant set to be climate neutral by 2035.

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