Carbon reduction is a strategic imperative for PepsiCo and a key tenet of its pep+ (PepsiCo Positive) ambition.
The 54,700m2 facility - the company’s fifth plant in Poland - includes a 23,000m2 production hall, a purification plant, warehouses and offices and will dramatically increase the scale of production of the popular potato chips brands, which are scheduled for 20 European markets, including Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary.
Built with sustainability at its core, the plant demonstrates how circular economy principles can be used throughout the entire lifecycle of a snack, with the aim of achieving a net zero status by 2035.
The plant’s location in Święte will reduce transport routes by more than 4.5m km per year, while key features include:
- Low utility consumption
- Generation of its own energy via solar panels
- Recovery of wastewater and rainwater for use in building utilities
- The adoption of anaerobic digestor tech to use leftover peelings to help power the plant and also convert them into low-carbon fertiliser for farmers
- Electrification of steam generation
- An electric fleet of company cars with dedicated charging stations.
Further investment has been earmarked to introduce an onsite solar farm with wind turbines.
PepsiCo in Poland
PepsiCo first entered the Polish market more than three decades ago, and currently has four plants in the country - in Grodzisk Mazowiecki and Tomaszów Mazowiecki (snacks) and Michrów and Żnin (beverages) - contributing towards 32,000 jobs across the value chain. The new plant will create 450 jobs to boost the economy in Poland. In 2020, the company opened a Business Services Centre in Kraków.
Silviu Popovici, CEO of PepsiCo Europe, said the location for the climate-smart facility was chosen because “Poland is a strategic market with a significant development potential,” while “PepsiCo has very good cooperation with the government.
“The opening of this new, environmentally sustainable snack facility is a major milestone for PepsiCo in Europe. We would like to thank our associates and our partners for helping us reimagine the future of food and bringing this facility to life,” said Popovici.
He also noted the company’s well-established partnerships with local farmers. PepsiCo currently processes around 200,000 tonnes of sustainably-grown Polish potatoes a year for its Lay’s potato chips. Factoring in supply for the new plant, the company is looking to expand its Polish farming programme to cover 19,000 acres (7,700 hectares) over 80 farms by 2025.
“This is excellent evidence that state-of-the-art greenfield projects can be implemented in Poland,” said Poland’s PM Mateusz Morawiecki at the opening ceremony.
An investor’s paradise
US ambassador to Poland Mark Brzezinski noted the ‘strong interest’ from investors, adding foreign investment in the country in 2021-22 had reached a ‘record-breaking’ 110bn PLN ($26.28m).
“There couldn’t be a better example of our shared success in economic growth than PepsiCo Poland.
“The iconic American brand first arrived in Poland in 1991 when it opened its first factory near Warsaw. All these years later, PepsiCo is continuing to invest in Poland and its people by expanding its footprint in a substantial way.
“Whenever American companies ask me what to expect in Poland, I always emphasise that they are people who are very hardworking and very loyal,” said Brzezinski.
Take a virtual tour of the new plant.