One of my Barkley colleagues, Susan Shank, pointed me to a great story today about another brand figuring out that going green is not just the right thing to do, but is good for business. In a New York Times story, we learn how Frito-Lay is going to totally convert one of its plants to become energy neutral. Here is an excerpt from the Times.
"At Frito-Lay’s factory here, more than 500,000 pounds of potatoes arrive every day from New Mexico to be washed, sliced, fried, seasoned and portioned into bags of Lay’s and Ruffles chips. The process devours enormous amounts of energy, and creates vast amounts of wastewater, starch and potato peelings.
Now, Frito-Lay is embarking on an ambitious plan to change the way this factory operates, and in the process, create a new type of snack: the environmentally benign chip.
Its goal is to take the Casa Grande plant off the power grid, or nearly so, and run it almost entirely on renewable fuels and recycled water. Net zero, as the concept is called, has the backing of the highest levels of corporate executives at PepsiCo, the parent company of Frito-Lay.
There are benefits besides the potential energy savings. Like many other large corporations, PepsiCo is striving to establish its green credentials as consumers become more focused on climate change. There are marketing opportunities, too. The company, for example, intends to advertise that its popular SunChips snacks are made using solar energy.
“We don’t know what the complete payoff for net zero is going to be,” said Indra K. Nooyi, PepsiCo’s chairman and chief executive. “If this works even to 50 or 60 percent of its potential, that is fantastic, and it’s so much better than what we already have.”