RIYADH: PepsiCo Middle East CEO Aamer Sheikh highlighted the company’s 100 percent local and regional water replenishment initiatives as a part of its sustainability goals on the sidelines of the second edition of the LEAP tech conference in Riyadh.
“What other companies have done is talk about sustainability. What PepsiCo has done is put sustainability at the core of its strategy. To be the leading global company in beverages and convenient foods, you have to do it while taking into account all the sustainability elements that come into play,” Sheikh told Arab News.
“When we talk about water conservation, we want to give back to the communities the amount of water we take. In our Riyadh plant, we are actually replenishing 100 percent of the water. And that simply means whatever water we use, we are working with the regional growers and the farmers to bring our best practices for them to be able to save an equivalent amount of water in their practices,” Sheikh explained.
Sheikh added that through their sustainability initiatives, they also aim to exchange know-how and best practices in the mission of promoting sustainable development.
“We are investing in technologies that are more efficient in using water. Our beverage franchise partner, Aljomaih in Riyadh, invested $10 million over the last five years. That reduces water consumption by 40 percent,” he explained.
As a part of the LEAP conference, PepsiCo also discussed its future ambition to embrace the digital revolution through the use of artificial intelligence.
“We are looking across all aspects of our value chain (to find out how we can) embrace and digitalize our organization at a much faster pace than what we have done in the past,” Sheikh said.
The PepsiCo CEO expressed the company’s mission in participating in the Kingdom’s transformation in line with Vision 2030.
“Saudi Arabia is going through a very unique transformation at this point in time, and our objective is to really embed PepsiCo in the fabric of the society. So, if you notice, we are showing up in all the key events. We are participating in all the major events, whether it’s Riyadh Season, Jeddah Season or Formula E Grand Prix,” he said.
“Our objective is to make sure that PepsiCo, through the power of its brands, is participating in the transformation that is taking place in Saudi,” Sheikh added.
Through its initiatives, he said, the company aims to educate the public on what it is doing to “drive a more sustainable organization and environment” and encourage “others to join in as well.”