When it comes to tackling climate change, PepsiCo is among the latest corporations to take on reducing carbon emissions with its regenerative farming practices, aiming to boost water and soil quality and even remove carbon from the atmosphere.

Jim Andrew, global chief sustainability officer at PepsiCo, told Cheddar that the company was more than a beverage provider, with more than half of its revenue coming from food and snack products. With this in mind, he said it noted that it was in the best interests of the business to implement new practices with its farming partners.

"Climate change is putting food production and food security at risk, and the way that we farm and produce food can really make a positive difference and be a big part of the solution," Andrew explained. "What regenerative practices are are practices that farmers utilize to really restore and improve the land, and a big part of that is carbon and what it can do, the positive impact it can have on the climate." 

Outside of Pepsi sodas and beverages, the company's products that rely on agriculture include Lay's potato chips, Quaker Foods, Doritos, Cheetos, and Ruffles to name a few brands. The company also sources citrus used in Tropicana drinks.

According to Andrew, when it comes to snack chip production the company is already taking steps in places like the UK to reduce its carbon footprint by reusing the peeled potato skins to create fertilizer. He said "that will reduce GHG emissions, greenhouse gas emissions, for our potatoes by over 70 percent."

Meanwhile, he didn't exactly address the potential for raising prices on the end consumer, but he noted that the sustainability efforts would increase production and ultimately reduce costs on the supply side.

"The great thing about a lot of these practices are that they actually increase yields for farmers, and a lot of times we'll start, in a limited way, on risk sharing with the farmer to get them going. And then what they'll see if actually these practices increase their yields while reducing the need for some of their high cost inputs," Andrew said.

PepsiCo has set very ambitious climate goals, as he reiterated the beverage company's recent promise to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040.

"Agriculture's one of the very few places, and it's probably the largest lever to actually become net positive, and so it helps by both reducing emissions but then also becoming a carbon bank and pulling carbon out of the air, sequestering it back in the soil," Andrew noted.

He also said that the private companies leading the charge on addressing the climate crisis can't complete the necessary work on their own. It will take "partnership and collaboration" with governments and non-government organizations to meet the goals necessary to protect the planet, he explained. 

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