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PepsiCo South Africa is driving water conservation

Food and beverage leader, PepsiCo South Africa continues to drive its commitment to water stewardship in South Africa, signifying its dedication to sustainable growth, community well-being, and environmental responsibility.

 

Recognising the critical role water plays in the food system and its broader impact on the environment and communities, PepsiCo South Africa continues to make significant strides in its water stewardship efforts.

 

“Our water stewardship journey is rooted in the belief that water is not just a vital component of our business but a lifeline for communities. We are collaborating with local partners and non-governmental organisations to launch community-driven projects that enhance water access, quality, and sustainability,” says Steven Wolfaardt, PepsiCo South Africa Sustainability Lead.”

 

Leading by Example with Water Efficiency

Within its own operations, PepsiCo South Africa is pioneering water-efficient practices and adopting state-of-the-art technologies. These endeavours have led to significant reductions in water consumption across its manufacturing facilities and supply chain while upholding the highest standards of product quality and safety.

 

Collaboration for a Water-Secure Future

PepsiCo understands that tackling water challenges requires collective action. The company actively engages with local stakeholders, government agencies, and industry peers to promote sustainable water management practices. Through dialogue, partnerships, and knowledge sharing, PepsiCo aims to contribute to a water-secure future for South Africa.

 

Partnership with The Nature Conservancy

 

PepsiCo supports landscape treatments through invasive species removal by partnering with The Nature Conservancy to support the Greater Cape Town Water Fund. Not only is this project restoring ecosystem functions and replenishing water to Cape Town’s key source catchments, but it is also conserving and restoring biodiversity in a critical and unique landscape. Since 2018, through this partnership, we have replenished 1.77 billion litres of water, and contributed to creating 570 jobs, focusing on the removal of water-hungry alien invasive plants, primarily for women and young adults, including 94 specially trained high-angle technicians working in remote, mountainous terrain.

 

Partnership with World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in the Drakensburg 

 

PepsiCo partnered with WWF to manage water resources in the Southern and Northern Drakensburg, and Kouga-Sondags-Langkloof areas. Activity under this partnership includes landscape management interventions such as an alien vegetation clearing project that has replenished 567 million litres of water across three projects areas in the Drakensberg and has created economic opportunities and improved local livelihoods by providing an average 18 200 days of employment through the project in the Northern Drakensberg.

Empowering Communities Through Water Initiatives

PepsiCo South Africa has invested significantly to support access to safe water, sanitation, and handwashing facilities for poor communities across provinces in South Africa through strategic partnerships with the National Business Initiative, the Water Research Institute, and Save Our Schools.

 

“These initiatives encompass the construction of resilient water infrastructure, educational programmes on responsible water usage, and the promotion of water conservation practices among local residents,” comments Wolfaardt.

 

The company also partnered with key stakeholders to repair leaks in schools and reduce losses in bulk municipal systems across South Africa. The aim of this project is to achieve water savings equal to, or higher than the annual water usage of the PepsiCo facilities within the respective municipalities. This project will help to offset the water use at its operations in Mangaung, Mogalakwena, Polokwane, Madibeng and Dawid Kruiper municipalities. The total savings achieved was over 50 million litres per month, which equates to about 65% of PepsiCo’s attributable operational water consumption in South Africa being replenished into these high-risk watersheds. 

 

Adoption of Alliance for Water Stewardship Standard

As a member of Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS), PepsiCo South Africa views water stewardship as a collective effort requiring increased collaboration, advocacy, idea-sharing, and investment to address water insecurity. Its commitment to water stewardship extends beyond water conservation, benefiting water quality, biodiversity, carbon sequestration, and local communities.

 

“We aim to fully adopt the AWS Standard at 34 of our high-water risk facilities by 2025, using it as a vehicle for advocacy, participation in good catchment governance, and to help ensure that freshwater resources in high-water-risk locations are available for all water stakeholders”, adds Wolfaardt.

 

The following sites will have fully adopted the Standard in 2023: Parow Plant, Epping Rice, Epping Bakery, Claremont Bakery, Worcester Fruit Tree, Worcester Bakery, Cereals Atlantis, Oats Epping, Sugarbird, Weet-Bix, Malmesbury Pasta, Malmesbury Mill, Ceres Fruit Juices and Upington Dried Fruit.

 

“At PepsiCo, we remain committed to ensuring long-term, sustainable water security, an essential element in building a sustainable food system for our business and the broader community”, concludes Wolfaardt.

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