PepsiCo Wing to Advance Underserved Communities, Racial Equality

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by KnowESG
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A Brief Summary

PepsiCo announced the launch of the Multicultural Business and Equity Development Organization, a separate wing in North America focused on addressing the inequalities faced by historically excluded people and underserved businesses and communities.

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The areas where the new organisation will zero in on include enhancing retailer business development in multicultural communities, investing and supporting suppliers and partners from diverse backgrounds, increasing consumer awareness and sales in multicultural cohorts etc.

Steven Williams, the CEO, PepsiCo Foods North America, said: “Leveraging this new team across PepsiCo’s beverage and convenient foods businesses will allow us to more quickly scale this important work in communities across North America. We take great pride in the strength of our teams, the power of our brands, and our ability to exceed consumer and retailer expectations. Incorporating and accelerating our equality agenda will now be a new area of strength as we create sustained change in the communities where we live and work.”

The announcement came after PepsiCo had launched its comprehensive sustainability framework, pep+, last year, comprising several ESG activities across agriculture, climate, water and packaging sustainability. Racial Equality Journey (REJ) is one of the significant pillars of the framework, which entails commitments to invest around $500 million towards including Black and Hispanic representation, expanding recruiting efforts, investing in minority-owned business etc.

Kirk Tanner, CEO, PepsiCo Beverages North America, said: “To take the next step in its Racial Equality Journey, PepsiCo is calling on one of its top executives to lead an organization embedded in the company’s two largest businesses with a focus on providing new educational opportunities, building up small businesses and creating rewarding job opportunities to support underserved businesses and communities. This is a significant move, which we believe will increase engagement and impact internally with employees and externally with consumers and enable greater progress for the future.”

PepsiCo appointed Derek Lewis to head the firm as president of Multicultural Business and Equity Development. He has been with PepsiCo for more than 30 years now, most recently serving as president of south division Pepsi beverages in North America.

Lewis said: “I’m incredibly proud to lead our newly created Multicultural Business and Equity Development organization that spans North America beverages and convenient foods. This new organization will focus on accelerating efforts inside and outside of the company to help address inequalities for historically excluded people and underserved businesses and communities – serving as a next step in PepsiCo’s Racial Equality Journey, while expanding key business programs, such as Pepsi Dig In and key equity programs, such as Pepsi Stronger Together.”


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