PepsiCo invests in ‘largest and most sustainable’ plant in Europe

By Katy Askew

- Last updated on GMT

Silviu Popovici and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki / Pic: PepsiCo
Silviu Popovici and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki / Pic: PepsiCo

Related tags Pepsico

Snacks-to-drinks giant PepsiCo is investing in what it says will be its ‘largest and most sustainable’ food manufacturing plant in Europe.

The company held a foundation laying ceremony today as construction began in Poland on the PLN1bn (€218.5m) facility, which will be the company’s fifth plant in the country.

The production plant will be developed in stages, with construction to be completed by 2025. The factory will be equivalent to seven football pitches in size and will be built in a 30-hectare plot located in Swiete close to Sroda Slaska within the Legnica Special Economic Zone (Lower Silesia).

The company said the facility will provide extra capacity to its food brands, which include products such as Lay’s fried and oven baked chips, as well as Doritos corn chips. It will supply both for the domestic market as well as export to over 20 countries, including Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary.

The foundation stone laying ceremony was attended by representatives of the Polish government, including Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, US Consul General in Krakow, regional and local authorities, the Mayor of Środa Śląska, executives of the Polish Investment and Trade Agency and the Legnica Special Economic Zone.

Silviu Popovici, Chief Executive Officer, PepsiCo Europe commented: “We’ve been operating and investing in Poland for 30 years. It is a great central hub as our food business grows in Central and Eastern Europe. But growth has to be sustainable. We want our plants to be the greenest, not only in Europe, but around the world. At Sroda Slaska we are re-imagining the future of food production. We want to create a model facility for sustainability in Europe.”

Built with ‘sustainability at its core’

The new ‘state-of-the-art’ facility is based on green design principles and will be built ‘with sustainability at its core’.

PepsiCo’s manufacturing in Poland already uses 100% renewable electricity, however this plant will ‘go further’ – it will use low utility consumption and be fully self-sufficient generating energy via solar panels, with plans to introduce an onsite solar farm in the future.

Heating, cooling and water at the site will also be reused and rainwater will be collected for use on-site.

Potato waste from manufacturing will be used in a special biomass generator to help power the plant. Afterwards waste will be converted into a low carbon fertilizer which will be provided to farmers to help grow the company’s next crop.

“We are proud that the new project will make use of the latest green technologies. We are already using 100% wind energy to power all four of the existing plants and the HQ in Warsaw, with additional solar panels placed in selected manufacturing plants, e.g. in Michrow and the central warehouse in Mszczonow. These innovations will make Sroda Slaska carbon neutral by 2035,” c​ommented Michał Jaszczyk, CEO PepsiCo Poland.

The crops for the new manufacturing plant will be supplied by Polish farmers working under the Polish Sustainable Farming Program. The Program was initiated 28 years ago, and currently PepsiCo sources over 230,000 tons of sustainably grown potatoes each year. This volume is expected to grow by 60,000 tons per year by 2023.

In addition, the company said it will initiate new relationships for corn supplies, seeking to source up to 30,000 tons of corn for the manufacture of Doritos chips by 2027.

With the new facility now in construction, PepsiCo will significantly expand the Polish Farming Program to cover 7,500 ha and over 100 farms in the coming years.

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