UA to Partner with Pepsi on Sustainability

FAYETTEVILLE - PepsiCo, parent company of Pepsi Cola, Frito-Lay and Tropicana, is providing a $300,000 grant over three years to the Applied Sustainability Center at the University of Arkansas to support research on how to create more sustainable products.

The Applied Sustainability Center, founded in 2007, is housed in the Sam M. Walton College of Business.

"We are very excited about the comprehensive approach that PepsiCo is taking to sustainability, and wish more companies would follow their lead," said Jon Johnson, executive director of the center. "PepsiCo is supporting the work of the center, everything from open-source life-cycle inventory assessment to developing metrics for a sustainable food index."

Life-cycle assessment and inventory provides a framework for accelerating the adoption of methods that will lead the consumer goods economy toward a sustainable future.

"PepsiCo's support of the Applied Sustainability Center's work is consistent with the company's overall environmental strategy," said David Haft, group vice president for sustainability and productivity for Frito-Lay North America. "Our hope is that this partnership will stimulate cutting-edge solutions to environmental challenges and improve the environmental performance of companies like ours."

The sustainability center works with a wide range of partners, including other University of Arkansas colleges, for the rapid development of sustainable business practices and to promote their application across the retail and consumer goods industries.

Recent center initiatives include: a sustainability speaker series; training and executive education on the business benefits of sustainability; a sustainability business plan competition; a study of production and distribution of American produce; a forum to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the dairy industry; and a project to assess a product's environmental impact by creating an open-source life-cycle inventory.