PepsiCo today announced the landmark purchase of renewable energy certificates (RECs). Marking the largest REC purchase to date, the purchase matches the purchased electricity used by all PepsiCo US-based manufacturing facilities, headquarters, distribution centers and regional offices.

“Energy is a key focus for PepsiCo within its environmental sustainability agenda,” said John Compton, chief executive officer, PepsiCo North America. “The purchase of these RECs is not only in line with our progress to date, but further advances our commitment to sustainability and helps make a positive impact in the communities we serve across the country.”

Green power is produced from renewable resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, biomass and low-impact hydro. These energy sources are considered cleaner and have a superior environmental profile than conventional sources of electricity. Purchasing RECs helps drive the development of additional renewable energy capacity nationwide.

PepsiCo’s three-year purchase is comprised of more than 1 billion kilowatt-hours annually. Based on national average emissions rates, the U.S. EPA estimates PepsiCo’s purchase is the same amount of electricity needed to power nearly 90,000 average American homes annually.

With this purchase PepsiCo tops EPA’s list of top-25 green power purchasers, as well as becoming the top Fortune 500 purchaser. PepsiCo also becomes a member of the EPA’s Green Power Partnership, which is comprised of organizations that voluntarily purchase green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity use.

“America is shifting to a ‘green culture,’ with more and more businesses understanding that environmental responsibility is everyone’s responsibility,” said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. “By switching to alternative, renewable power sources, PepsiCo is proving that going green can be the choice of every generation.”

PepsiCo, which formed its Environmental Task Force in 2001, and its divisions are actively involved in a variety of environmental initiatives and have been recognized for their efforts. For example, Frito-Lay and Gatorade operate two LEED GOLD certified facilities. The US Green Buildings Council LEED Rating System is the nationally accepted benchmark for evaluating sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere efficiency, material and resource selection and indoor environmental quality. Tropicana’s Ft. Pierce facility has partnered with St. Lucie County to burn landfill gas, a renewable energy source that displaces the use of natural gas, in its boiler.

Earlier this year PepsiCo was recognized as ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year for outstanding energy management and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay North America division received the award in 2006.

PepsiCo is partnering with Sterling Planet on the purchase of the RECs. Sterling Planet, a leading retail provider of renewable energy, is identifying and acquiring the RECs for PepsiCo. The company will seek to source the RECs to model PepsiCo’s purchased electricity use geographically.

“We are pleased to join with PepsiCo to make history with this largest-ever purchase of clean, renewable energy certificates. Sterling Planet will be working closely with PepsiCo to support the strategic decision to match the RECs to their geographic use of electricity in the U.S.,” said Mel Jones, president and chief executive officer, Sterling Planet. “This approach should help the local communities where PepsiCo has a presence to grow local renewable energy sources.”

The Green-e program, administered by the Center for Resource Solutions (CRS), will certify that the RECs meet stringent environmental guidelines and will verify that the renewable energy credits being purchased for PepsiCo are retired on PepsiCo’s behalf. CRS is a national non-profit organization working to promote sustainable resource solutions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions responsible for climate change.

“PepsiCo is demonstrating environmental leadership and innovation while inspiring other U.S. corporations to take action,” said Dan Lieberman, Green-e program manager, Center for Resource Solutions. “This type of commitment from PepsiCo makes tremendous strides toward a clean, renewable energy future for all Americans.”

PepsiCo is one of the world’s largest food and beverage companies, with 2006 annual revenues of more than $35 billion. Its principal businesses include: Frito-Lay snacks, Pepsi-Cola beverages, Gatorade sports drinks, Tropicana juices and Quaker foods. Its portfolio includes 17 brands that generate $1 billion or more each in annual retail sales.

News, PepsiAmericas