PepsiCo Shifts to 100 Percent Green Power with Record Purchase
May 2, 2007
PepsiCo, one of the world's largest food and beverage companies, announced on April 30th that it is buying more than 1.1 billion kilowatt-hours of renewable energy credits (RECs) annually for the next three years, the largest-ever corporate purchase of green power. RECs represent the renewable attributes of the electricity generated by renewable power facilities. When those facilities sell their power into the electrical grid without taking credit for their renewable energy benefits, the facilities are able to sell those benefits to others in the form of RECs. PepsiCo's REC purchase is equal to the amount of electricity used in its U.S. operations and is enough to power 90,000 average U.S. homes. The purchase was hailed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as the largest corporate purchase of green power, the largest REC purchase to date, and the largest purchase made under the EPA's Green Power Partner program. See the press releases from PepsiCo and the EPA.
The purchase catapulted PepsiCo to the top of the EPA top-25 list of green power purchases, displacing Wells Fargo & Company, which had claimed the top spot earlier this year. It also placed the nation's top companies well on their way toward the EPA's Fortune 500 Green Power Challenge to exceed 5 billion kilowatt-hours of green power purchases by the end of this year, with roughly 4 billion kilowatt-hours bought to date. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts have jumped to the top of the EPA's list of local government partners, with the use of 196 million kilowatt-hours of green power generated on-site from biogas, while the EPA's other top-ten lists showed little change from January. See the EPA's green power lists.
The EPA has also concluded its 2006 College and University Green Power Challenge, naming the Ivy League as the top conference for buying green power. While each conference tended to be dominated by one large green power purchaser, the combined efforts of the Ivy League helped put it in first place. The University of Pennsylvania bought 112 million kilowatt-hours of green power, which places it behind New York University's 118.6 million kilowatt-hours, but thanks to smaller purchases from Harvard and Yale, the Ivy League prevailed, with a conference total of nearly 144 million kilowatt-hours of green power purchases. See the EPA press release and Web page.