2 min read.Updated: 18 Aug 2021, 01:07 PM ISTLivemint
The PepsiCo Foundation is also launching a new $1 million program with not for profit WaterAid to bring safe water to families in Sub-Saharan Africa—expanding its 15-year-old safe water access initiative that reaches over 20 countries
New Delhi: Packaged foods and beverages company PepsiCo plans to turn 'Net Water Positive' by 2030 with its intent to replenish more water than the company uses, the company announced on Tuesday.
The PepsiCo Foundation is also launching a new $1 million program with not for profit WaterAid to bring safe water to families in Sub-Saharan Africa—expanding its 15-year-old safe water access initiative that reaches over 20 countries.
“Water scarcity is directly linked to the climate crisis, and at PepsiCo we believe a global effort to be ‘net water positive’ is essential. We’re focused not only on making sure people around the world have access to this vital resource but ensuring that we are also prioritizing water stewardship in our operations everywhere," Jim Andrew, chief sustainability officer at PepsiCo said.
The goal is to reduce absolute water usage and replenish back into the local watershed more than 100% of the water used at company-owned and third-party sites in high-water-risk areas.
PepsiCo said reduction efficiencies will be met through the adoption of operational best-in-class water-use-efficiency standards that will cover over 1,000 company-owned and third-party facilities, with nearly half located in high-risk watersheds.
Beverage companies have over the years been criticized for being heavy water usage industries. This has also resulted in companies such as Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo or their bottling partners facing protests from locals in areas where such units are located.
"Raising the efficiency standard at company-owned sites in high-risk watersheds alone will allow PepsiCo to avoid using more than 11 billion litres of water a year, a 50% reduction in the amount of water the company uses at these sites," the company said. Additionally, PepsiCo intends to deliver safe water access to 100 million people by 2030.
Meanwhile, The PepsiCo Foundation’s new investment with WaterAid is focused on the Sub-Saharan Africa region.
The company said the pandemic has once again turned the spotlight on water conservation as covid-19 requires heightened hygiene habits among households. In several low-income countries, water scarcity prevents households from maintaining adequate hand hygiene and sanitation practices.
“Many nations, like those in Sub-Saharan Africa, lack the water infrastructure or supply to prevent and treat illnesses – for instance, nearly 70% of homes in the region don’t have places for families to wash their hands with soap and water. Given the importance of handwashing and sanitizing to combat the pandemic, this leaves communities highly susceptible to spikes in covid-19. This issue is compounded given the slow pace of vaccine distribution in the region," the company said in its statement.
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