Life at PepsiCo

Daring for a better world: Meet a facility director helping to save millions of liters of water

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We’re helping to create a better world for all people. Part of that involves becoming net water positive in our operations by 2030. See how Gabriel Yoshitani is helping to create a circular water system at PepsiCo’s Vallejo facility in Mexico.

The amount of water it takes to make bags of Doritos, Sabritas or Cheetos may not be top of mind while enjoying your favorite snacks. But water is used throughout the food creation process — from mixing and cooking to cooling and washing.

Improving water efficiency matters: Access to clean water is a fundamental human right, yet water insecurity is one of the world’s greatest challenges. PepsiCo is interested in driving positive change, creating measurable improvements in the health of high-risk watersheds at company-owned sites.

We’re constantly identifying new opportunities for reusing water, and we’ve invested in world-class technology to reduce our freshwater footprint. One of our PepsiCo Positive (pep+) goals is to be net water positive in our operations by 2030, replenishing more water than we use.

Here, associate Gabriel Yoshitani, Plant Director at PepsiCo’s Vallejo facility in Mexico, shares how he and his team have created PepsiCo’s first truly circular water system.

Gabriel Yoshitani
Plant Director
Mexico City, Mexico

Does working at PepsiCo help you make a positive impact?

Each of us has a responsibility to make the world a better place. And PepsiCo Positive empowers each of us to do so. From the top down, we dare for positive change that makes the planet smile. What does that look like? We’re making sustainability a competitive advantage. PepsiCo Positive touches everything: It impacts our agriculture practices, it helps us build a circular and inclusive value chain, and it allows us to inspire people to make better choices.

We dare for positive change that makes the planet smile.

Can you tell us about your water sustainability efforts?

Our ambition is to create a circular value chain. There are many aspects to this. But I’m mostly focused on helping PepsiCo become net water positive. What does that mean? In short, we’re aiming to replenish more water than we use. We’re also implementing best-in-class water-use efficiency in high-risk areas where rainfall channels into larger bodies of water. Considering only 3% of the world’s water is fresh water, this is an important goal.

How does this process work?

Our commercial partners make this possible: We work with neighboring wastewater treatment facilities to treat and reuse water. This allows us to avoid using fresh water or tapping into the water supply. Altogether, our approach is saving the average water consumption of 4,000 families. Ultimately, we’re hoping to share reclaimed water with other facilities who need it.

Our belief is to make the impossible possible.

Is the Vallejo plant a blueprint for what others can do?

We’re one of the pioneers of PepsiCo’s sustainability initiatives. We’ve made a positive impact on our community, although I wouldn’t necessarily say we’re a template. Different locations can have a different set of circumstances. I’d call us a reason to believe. Again, we all initially thought achieving net zero consumption was impossible. We had to think outside the box and collaborate with external partners and I’d like to think we’re an example of why we should pursue our pep+ targets.

Are there other ways you are attempting to reduce water consumption?

Well, again – our goal is to create a circular value chain. Every day, we think about ways to further push ourselves to minimize our water consumption. Part of that also includes having backup plans. For example, what happens when something breaks? Likewise, we’re not only focused on water. Addressing the impact of climate change by reducing emissions is top of mind too. By 2040, PepsiCo aims to achieve net-zero emissions.

We all Dare for Better by pushing beyond boundaries.

What other ways does PepsiCo help make a positive difference in the world?

Creating an inclusive, circular value chain has many components. Whereas I’m focused on conserving and reusing water, other associates around the world are minimizing our reliance on single-use packaging. PepsiCo is expanding its portfolio offerings in ways that allow people to make better choices for themselves and the planet. For example, PepsiCo is reducing added sugar, sodium and saturated fats in its products. We have clear, tangible benchmarks. These are invitations to make an impact.

How do you Dare for Better?

I’m always striving to leave a better world for the next generation. Collaboration with scientists, business partners and local communities turn shared beliefs into reality. We’re continually trying to create a better future — together. We all Dare for Better by pushing beyond boundaries to redefine what’s possible.

Learn more about how we Dare for Better at PepsiCo.