PepsiCo, a leading food and beverage company in the region, and Saudi Arabia’s Prince Sultan University, signed a memorandum of understanding to engage students in an experiential learning journey and help foster a circular economy in the Kingdom.
The MoU aims to strengthen efforts toward achieving a zero-waste future for the university campus, and challenges students to dig deeper into the issue of plastic waste and the benefits of a circular economy through academic research. It also encourages students to find solutions to common challenges, and work toward minimizing waste on the campus in ways that can be implemented at scale across universities.
Students will have access to guest lectures by senior PepsiCo leadership, aimed at nurturing an environment where they can gain practical knowledge of the subject. The company will also set up collection points to encourage students to recycle better, and eventually transform the university into a zero-waste campus.
Eugene Willemsen, chief executive, Africa, Middle East and South Asia, PepsiCo, said: “For over 65 years now, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been our home. We consider ourselves strategic partners in the realization of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, rooted in sustainability. Guided by PepsiCo Positive (pep+), PepsiCo’s strategic end-to-end transformation for driving long-term sustainability, we are working toward building a circular and inclusive value chain globally. Through the partnership with Prince Sultan University, we are confident about translating our sustainability ambition into tangible action in Saudi Arabia, inspiring the youth to lead as ambassadors of sustainable living.”
Dr. Ahmed Yamani, president of PSU, said: “PSU is committed to applying the UN SDG 2030 in line with Saudi Vision 2030. Our partnership with PepsiCo demonstrates our continued commitment to working closely with the industry and positively impacting the community. PSU is truly proud to be directly linked to one of the milestone changes in the higher education system in this country, and that is the future of private higher education.”
Professor Mohammad Nurunnabi, director of Center for Sustainability and Climate at PSU and aide to the president on ranking and internationalization, said: “We are proud to partner with PepsiCo, a world-leading multinational company, given their significant commitments on sustainability. This partnership aligns with our vision to provide the Middle East with quality education of the highest international standard, and our commitment to Saudi Vision 2030. We’re delighted to come together to provide tangible solutions to combat sustainability challenges.”
Across the MENA region, PepsiCo is accelerating its efforts toward a more sustainable food system, as it leads the evolution toward eco-conscious consumption in a circular economy. Last year, PepsiCo launched the “Food for Thought” platform, which aims to democratize conversations about food security and sustainability by bringing together multiple stakeholders from across the food chain. The MoU with Prince Sultan University is one way PepsiCo is bringing this to life in Saudi Arabia.
Over the years, PepsiCo has worked closely with its bottling partners in Saudi Arabia to ensure that large amounts of plastic are diverted from landfills. PepsiCo and key partners such as mass waste collector WASCO and environmental solution provider Naqaa, have installed 16 smart, solar-powered sorting machines to collect and sort empty plastic bottles in Makkah, and placed 80 recycling stations at the Dakar Rally venue in Jeddah.
In addition, PepsiCo has also signed an MoU with the National Waste Management Center, launched community recycling projects and has partnered with Diriyah Gate Authority to collect plastic, increase recycling rates and raise awareness.