PEPSICO UNVEILS 2025 SUSTAINABILITY AGENDA TOWARDS A MORE SUSTAINABLE FUTURE IN MENA AND AROUND THE WORLD

 

By Omar Farid, PepsiCo's President for the Middle East and North Africa

 

As President of PepsiCo, Middle East & North Africa (MENA), Omar Farid is responsible for PepsiCo MENA’s foods, beverages and nutrition businesses, which comprise more than 12,000 employees operating in 17 countries, more than 10 world-class manufacturing facilities, several joint ventures and a network of bottlers who manufacture and distribute PepsiCo beverage products across the region. 

 

With many developing and emerging markets, PepsiCo MENA is a key engine of growth and a major contributor to PepsiCo’s global business. Under Omar’s stewardship, PepsiCo has achieved several major milestones as it looks to grow its nutrition, snacks and beverages units in a rapidly growing economy. 

 

Since his appointment as President of MENA, the PepsiCo veteran has continued to drive and grow its long term strategy, drive the company’s mission of Performance with Purpose (PwP), to deliver sustained financial performance while giving back to the community. 

 

Under his leadership, PepsiCo MENA has attained several major achievements. In 2015, PepsiCo’s Jordan operations became the first in the region to achieve positive water balance. PepsiCo also provided solar lights to homes and streets in villages in Egypt and in Yemen through the Liter of Light project, which drives recycling of plastic PET bottles turning them into solar lights to bring the gift of light to low income communities.

 

At PepsiCo, we believe sustainability is a business imperative. It is about aligning business and social purpose in a way that makes a difference in the world. Sustainable practices can be built into the business model. That integration is happening at PepsiCo. We recognize that, due to our scale, we have a tremendous opportunity, as well as a responsibility, to make a profit in a way that is responsible and creates social value.

 

In 2006, PepsiCo announced ‘Performance with Purpose’ - a pioneering vision rooted in the fundamental belief that business success is inextricably linked to the sustainability of the world we share. Building on ‘Performance with Purpose’, PepsiCo recently launched the ‘2025 Sustainability Agenda’, designed to foster continued business growth by responding to changing consumer and societal needs. We consciously aligned our goals with the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development - a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.

 

The initiatives under the ‘2025 Sustainability Agenda’ are aimed at creating shareholder value while, at the same time, taking important steps to address environmental, health and societal priorities all over the world. We acknowledge that, to succeed in a volatile and changing world, corporations must do three things 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.

 

We have identified three pillars for sustainable growth-Products, Planet and People. Across our business, and in partnership with others, PepsiCo is taking a holistic approach to achieving progress across these pillars. Our sustainability plans are informed by scientific research, consumer expectations and dialogue with key stakeholders, as well as by the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

 

For our products, PepsiCo’s ambition is to enable better nutrition at scale by continuing to develop a broader portfolio of food and beverage choices and increasing access to great-tasting, nutritious options. We have committed to reducing added sugars, saturated fat and sodium levels across our product portfolio.

 

We know we have a responsibility to our planet. So, we are reducing the environmental footprint of the food system through operational efficiencies and the mobilisation of our suppliers and business partners. In this region, where water is scarce, we are implementing water stewardship policies that reduce waste in our manufacturing operations, replenish water reserves, and help suppliers manage their water use. For example, in Jordan, we have reduced water consumption per liter by 42% over the past 10 years.

 

PepsiCo believes that people are the best agents of social progress. So, our business is set up to empower them in the workplace, in communities and across the supply chain.

As President of PepsiCo, Middle East & North Africa (MENA), Omar Farid is responsible for PepsiCo MENA’s foods, beverages and nutrition businesses, which comprise more than 12,000 employees operating in 17 countries, more than 10 world-class manufacturing facilities, several joint ventures and a network of bottlers who manufacture and distribute PepsiCo beverage products across the region.

 

With many developing and emerging markets, PepsiCo MENA is a key engine of growth and a major contributor to PepsiCo’s global business. Under Omar’s stewardship, PepsiCo has achieved several major milestones as it looks to grow its nutrition, snacks and beverages units in a rapidly growing economy.

 

Since his appointment as President of MENA, the PepsiCo veteran has continued to drive and grow its long term strategy, drive the company’s mission of Performance with Purpose (PwP), to deliver sustained financial performance while giving back to the community.

 

Under his leadership, PepsiCo MENA has attained several major achievements. In 2015, PepsiCo’s Jordan operations became the first in the region to achieve positive water balance. PepsiCo also provided solar lights to homes and streets in villages in Egypt and in Yemen through the Liter of Light project, which drives recycling of plastic PET bottles turning them into solar lights to bring the gift of light to low income communities.

 

In the GCC, PepsiCo provides income for 6,500 farmers and employs thousands of local people. Across the MENA region, we run several skills- building and education programs for women and young people, including ‘Hadafi supporting women entrepreneurs, ‘Skills for Success’ supporting women’s job readiness, Tomooh which provides access to education to those who cannot afford an education and a strong partnership with the Arab International Women’s Forum (AIWF) focused on the economic empowerment of women through awareness raising, mentorship and role modeling. These programmes are aimed at helping people to realize their potential, and driving our diversity and inclusion agenda. When we invest in people, we are helping the communities where we operate, as well as developing the business we have built together.

 

Key to the ‘Performance with Purpose’ philosophy is that large-scale challenges can only be addressed when we unite around shared goals. In MENA, PepsiCo would like to catalyze a culture of partnership between governments, communities and the private sector to make the region more sustainable, and strengthen links between business and society. We would like to focus on youth and women as well as resource conservation to support the sustainable development challenges faced by the region.

 

Recently, in Jordan, we brought together decision-makers to develop innovative solutions for problems affecting the region at a forum called ‘AMWAJ’. Along with our partners, PepsiCo designed AMWAJ to create shared understanding of sustainable development. In a region severely affected by issues like water shortages, youth unemployment, education and skills gaps, and lifestyle-related diseases, PepsiCo believes that, working with others, we have an opportunity to be part of the solution.

 

By convening leaders across the private and public sectors, as well as social entrepreneurs, we began the process of creating a platform for collaboration, partnership and action in key areas which impact sustainable development. We believe that public-private partnership is the best way to achieve results of scale.

 

In the end, what matters is the difference a business can make as an integral part of society and the world we share. As a business, we can perform with purpose. As a society, we can work together and partner towards prosperity and to make the world a more sustainable place.

 

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