BY: LEIGHTON SCHNEIDER, ABC NEWS

(NEW YORK) — PepsiCo has announced a new climate plan that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 40% by 2030 – a doubling of the company’s previous climate initiative – while also pledging to achieve net-zero emissions by 2040.   

The food and drink giant says they will reduce emissions across its direct operations by 75% and its indirect value chain by 40%, based on a 2015 baseline. Direct operation emissions could include the manufacturing, shipping, or electricty used to produce products. Indirect emissions could include the plastic used to make bottles, or the growing of potatos or sugar cane.

Pepsi says this will reduce emissions by 26 million metric tons, which is the equivalent of taking more than five million cars off the road for a year. 

“The severe impacts from climate change are worsening, and we must accelerate the urgent systemic changes needed to address it,” said PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Ramon Laguarta. “Our ambitious climate goal will guide us on the steep but critical path forward — there is simply no other option but immediate and aggressive action.”

The net-zero target aligns with the Business Ambition for 1.5°C pledge, which calls on companies to commit to set ambitious climate goals to limit warming to 1.5°C.  

To achieve the goal, Pepsi says they will increase sustainable agriculture and regenerative practices, reduce new plastic use and increase the use of recycled materials in its packaging, and upgrade environmentally sustainable manufacturing, warehousing, transportation, and distribution sites. 

The company is implementing innovative business practices that will enable emission mitigation, including its ‘Sustainable from the Start’ program, which puts environmental impact decision making at the heart of product design. Pepsi also has two internal carbon pricing programs that will reinforce climate considerations in business decisions.  

“Our climate ambition is at the very heart of accelerating our global sustainability progress, and we are using our scale and reach to build a more sustainable and regenerative global food system,” said Jim Andrew, Chief Sustainability Officer, PepsiCo. “It’s long overdue that companies move beyond just minimizing their environmental impact, they must actively work to improve and regenerate the planet.”

This new announcement comes on the heels of Pepsi meeting its 2020 target of 100% renewable energy across all direct US operations and its new goal of 100% renewable power across all company-owned and controlled operations by 2030 and its franchise and third-party operations by 2040. 

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