PepsiCo pledges to cut calorie counts by 2025

PURCHASE, N.Y.,  PepsiCo has pledged to reduce the calorie counts of its beverages and reduce its impact on the environment by 2025.

PepsiCo wants two-thirds of its products to have no more than 100 calories from added sugars per 12-ounce serving by 2025. Photo by Russell Shively/Shutterstock

“To succeed in today’s volatile and changing world, corporations must do three things exceedingly well: focus on delivering strong financial performance, do it in a way that is sustainable over time and be responsive to the needs of society,” PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi said in a statement Monday. “The first 10 years of PepsiCo’s Performance with Purpose journey have demonstrated what is possible when a company does well by also doing good. We have created significant shareholder value, while taking important steps to address environmental, health and social priorities all around the world.”

The pledges by 2025 include:

Nutrition: At least two-thirds of its products will contain 100 calories or less from added sugar for each 12-ounce serving. That includes more zero- and lower-calorie products. Also, at least three-quarters of its food will not exceed 1.1 grams of saturated fat per 100 calories and 1.3 milligrams of sodium per calorie.

Environment: A 15 percent improvement in water efficiency in its direct agricultural supply chain in high-water risk areas. Pepsi has pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent. Also, it wants zero waste going to landfills across its direct operations by 2025. And it has a goal of 100 percent of its packaging to be recoverable or recyclable.

Philanthropy: In partnership with PepsiCo Foundation, it will invest $100 million in initiatives to benefit 12.5 million women worldwide. It also wants to provide safe water for 25 million people in high-risk areas, a continuation of its efforts that began in 2006.

“These new initiatives continue PepsiCo’s decade-long commitment to delivering Performance with Purpose, a pioneering vision launched in 2006 rooted in the fundamental belief that business success is inextricably linked to the sustainability of the world we share,” company said in a statement.

The company said it developed its plans based on “current scientific research, consumer expectations and dialogue with key stakeholders, as well as by the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”

One week ago the World Health Organization recommended that governments adopt taxes on sugary drinks as more than one in three adults are overweight, according to the United Nations agency. Some U.S. cities have already imposed taxes, including Philadelphia in June. The city’s soda tax will levy 1.5 cents per ounce on sweetened soft drinks, beginning Jan. 1.

The WHO advises people to limit sugar to less than 10 percent of their energy needs.

Besides Pepsi, other drinks include Mountain Dew, Tropicana orange juice and Gatorade energy drinks. One 12-ounce can of Mountain Dew contains 46 grams of sugar, 65 milligrams of sodium and 170 calories.

PepsiCo generated more than $63 billion in net revenue in 2015 and people consumed its products 1 billion times a day, according to the company.

By Allen Cone