PepsiCo Australia, whose products range from the eponymous Pepsi Cola to the iconic Australian snack, Twisties, has switched to 100 per cent renewable electricity across all of its operations, with a mix of on-site solar, and deals to buy energy generated by wind and solar farms.
The milestone, announced on Friday, puts the Australian arm of the food and beverage giant well ahead of the company’s global target to use renewable electricity only in its direct operations by 2030. PepsiCo is signed up to RE100 and has a goal to reach net zero emissions by 2040.
For PepsiCo Australia, the early renewables mark is largely the result a sophisticated mix of power purchase agreements with French renewables giant, Engie, and with the Indigenous owners of a 10MW solar farm on the outskirts of the WA wheatbelt town of Northam.
For the Northam solar farm, a joint partnership between Indigenous Business Australia and Bookitja – a part of the Whadjuk Foundation, set up to fund future generations of Whadjuk people – the deal with PepsiCo marks the project’s first large-scale PPA.
That particular PPA will be facilitated through a Electricity Supply Agreement with WA based retailer Change Energy, which will manage the renewable energy certificate compliance, network connections and provide additional wholesale energy requirements to PepsiCo’s Forrestfield Site.
All told, the deals with Engie and Northam will supply PepsiCo with electricity generated by a range of wind and solar farms across Australia, alongside solar from the company’s current and planned rooftop PV systems, topped up with the purchase of large-scale generation certificates (LGCs).
Danny Celoni, CEO of PepsiCo Australia and New Zealand said climate change is one of the most pressing concerns facing the global food system and that the move to renewable electricity was positive for the business as well as for the local economy.
“Australian consumers care about how companies are responding to climate change. The agreements are a great step forward in achieving our goal of net zero emissions by 2040,” Celoni said.
“We are pleased to support sustainable initiatives that create local jobs and proud to partner with IBA and Bookitja through the Northam Solar Farm, which aims to provide a sustainable economic base for future generations of Whadjuk people.”
IBA’s Stella de Cos said PepsiCo Australia’s investment in renewable energy would provide returns that will be reinvested to benefit and create investment opportunities for Indigenous Australians.
“[This] is the first PPA on this project and the first large-scale solar farm for IBA. We look forward to doing more in the renewable space with a view to Indigenous communities maximising their land resources.”
Jon Dee, the Australian coordinator of RE100 – a global corporate renewable energy initiative led by The Climate Group and CDP – said that by switching to solar and wind powered electricity, PepsiCo were delivering what the Australian public wanted.
“Every time Australians eat PepsiCo products, those products will have been made using 100% renewable electricity. That’s the kind of result that people want to see.
“Companies that join RE100 pledge to go 100% renewable with their electricity use by a set date,” Dee said.
“By successfully completing their transition to 100% renewable electricity, PepsiCo has demonstrated a high level of commitment and it’s set a positive example for other companies to follow.”
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