PepsiCo announced that it has helped more than 22 million people in underserved communities around the world gain access to safe water since 2006. In the last year alone, PepsiCo and its partners expanded access for more than 6 million people, indicating the company is on track to exceed its goal to support a total of 25 million people with safe water access by 2025.
Around the world, 1 in 9 people struggle with access to safe and clean drinking water. Clean water shortages threaten the health and safety of communities, profoundly impacting hygiene and contributing to waterborne diseases, famine, migration, and violence. To address these issues, PepsiCo has set a number of interconnected goals that aim to contribute to its Positive Water Impact, meaning its efforts and partnerships are designed to enable long-term, sustainable water security for its business and others who depend on water availability.
As part of this effort, The PepsiCo Foundation, the philanthropic arm of PepsiCo, works with leading non-profit organizations to expand access in some of the world’s most water-stressed areas. The PepsiCo Foundation has led partnerships with Water.org to provide access to affordable financing for water and sanitation improvement projects in India, the Inter-American Development Bank to better manage changes in water availability in Latin America, and the China Women’s Development Foundation to expand safe water access in rural areas of China.
The PepsiCo Foundation is also working with WaterAid in southern India to bring clean water to more than 200,000 people by restoring wells, harvesting rainwater in schools and building piped water supply systems. In a project in Sri City, 21 tap stands were installed in Ananthapuram village, which will be converted into high-quality permanent structures to establish a sustained water supply and proper wastewater drainage. The PepsiCo Foundation and WaterAid plan to bring similar solutions to other high-water-risk communities with the intention that increasing access to clean water will positively impact the health, security and employment opportunities of local residents, particularly women, who otherwise have to walk long distances to collect water.
“The world faces a global water crisis, and we believe that PepsiCo can make a difference by acting as good stewards of local water resources. As members of the Alliance for Water Stewardship, we’re dedicated to increasing water use efficiency across our own value chain, and helping people gain access to safe water, which is a fundamental human right,” said Roberta Barbieri, PepsiCo Vice President, Global Sustainability. “Water availability is fundamentally a local issue and one that requires collaboration among residents, municipal leaders, industry stewards, and technical experts to sustainably manage. For those reasons, PepsiCo will increase our participation in and support of local water conservation work, with a particular focus on high-water-risk geographies where action to protect this precious natural resource is most urgent.”
PepsiCo is also working to conserve and protect freshwater as part of its Positive Water Impact strategy. Through a partnership with The Nature Conservancy (TNC), PepsiCo is working directly with farmers, landowners, businesses, and communities throughout the United States, Latin America, and South Africa to implement efficient irrigation technology, protect upstream forests, and establish Water Funds to replenish at-risk watersheds. In Latin America, PepsiCo and TNC are supporting watershed conservation projects that will enhance the supply and quality of water and improve the livelihoods of those in surrounding areas. In 2018, the partnership replenished more than 76 million gallons of water to the watersheds in Guatemala City, São Paulo, Santo Domingo, Bogotá, Mexico City, and Monterrey through conservation efforts across more than 990 acres.