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Fried Chips In A Baked Landscape

Posted: 11:50AM May 3rd, 2012 | Comments

This just in from public radio land: Frito-Lay (a subsidiary of PepsiCo) is recycling water and generating energy from biomass at an Arizona factory, with the goal of being entirely resource self-sufficient.


Well, as with most business sustainability course corrections, there is usually always a money saving component.  Less raw resource consumption = more money for use on other things (office fancy-dress parties?).

The move by Frito-Lay is hardly news in the sense that plenty of huge corporate brands have acknowledged the cost-savings to be realized from sustainable changes.  Indeed, PepsiCo has one of the more robust corporate social responsibility platforms and appears genuinely invested in forward motion vis-a-vis sustainability.

But one quote from the radio piece stands out.  Given that the factory in question is in parched Arizona, a spokesman for PepsiCo's environmental sustainability efforts had this to say about water shortage as a probable incentive for change: 

[The factory's] not really directly challenged today. We looked at that as an opportunity to go try that technology and prove it before we need to actually go roll it out.

It's terribly exciting to hear businesses talk in the future tense -- not about what they "will do," but about how they will be resilient because they've made smart and creative business decisions.  And they're making those decisions NOW.

Let's think about it the other way 'round: What are the incentives for waiting for a major disruption before making smart investments?  Personally?  Organizationally?  

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