PepsiCo has established a new factory in Poland, described by the company as its greenest facility in Europe, which utilises circular economy principles.
The food and beverage giant said the plant emphasises the industry’s increasing recognition of the circular economy as a framework to help address global food system challenges.
Located near Środa Śląska, the Polish plant will use new sustainability solutions that demonstrate aspects of a circular economy in action. These include collecting rainwater and heat process water for reuse and generating its own energy via rooftop solar panels, with the plant set to be climate neutral by 2035.
The €300 million project is the company’s fifth plant in the country, which will produce for the domestic market and export to over 20 countries including Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. Its opening ceremony took place yesterday (31 May 2023), inaugurated by Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki and US ambassador Mark Brzezinski.
Leftover potato peelings from the manufacturing process will be used to help power the plant using anaerobic digestor technology, then converted into a low-carbon fertiliser which is given back to the farmers to help them grow their next crop. The plant also brings to light new sustainable solutions such as electrification of steam generation and an electric fleet of company cars with dedicated charging stations.
CEO of PepsiCo Europe Silviu Popovici said: “Poland is a strategic market with a significant development potential, where we have been investing for over 30 years. The opening of this new, environmentally sustainable snack facility is a major milestone for PepsiCo in Europe. We would like to thank our associates and our partners for helping us reimagine the future of food and bringing this facility to life.”
The plant is expected to create 450 new jobs. Under the global PepsiCo Sustainable Farming Programme, PepsiCo in Poland sources over 200,000 tonnes of sustainably grown potatoes each year. This volume is expected to grow by 60,000 tonnes per year by 2025.
With the new facility now up and running, PepsiCo will significantly expand the Polish farming programme to cover 19,000 acres (7,700 hectares) and over 80 farms in the coming years.
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