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Vanderbilt announces PepsiCo as new beverage provider to help reach sustainability goals

Jul. 31, 2020, 10:59 AM

Vanderbilt University has announced PepsiCo as its official beverage provider for its campus dining operations and vending locations.

The new agreement will provide the entire university community with PepsiCo’s broad portfolio of beverages, including Pepsi, Gatorade, Pure Leaf iced tea, Mountain Dew, Starbucks ready-to-drink coffee, STUBBORN craft soda and more. Vanderbilt will also offer other PepsiCo hydration and juice brands, which includes Aquafina, Naked, Propel and O.N.E. A full transition of products will take place before Aug. 1.

This new partnership addresses the university’s sustainability goals and changing student needs. In January, the university announced a commitment to achieving zero waste, or a 90 percent diversion rate, by 2030. As part of the commitment, the university plans to end institutional single-use plastic purchases by 2025, except in laboratories and at sporting events.

“PepsiCo was chosen because it showed a distinct commitment to partnering with us to achieve our goal to eliminate single-use plastics and the company’s values align with ours surrounding sustainability,” said Vice Chancellor for Administration Eric Kopstain. “We also knew that students have been looking for healthier beverage options while on campus and PepsiCo was able to provide us with outstanding options.”

“We are excited to rekindle this partnership with Pepsi, which has been a great partner to Vanderbilt Athletics in the past. Pepsi’s popular product line, and their commitment to sustainability, technology and more functional, healthier options, meets the high expectations of our fans and student-athletes. Their strong proposal to Vanderbilt Athletics and their vision of winning with purpose resonated with us, as together we strive to become faster, stronger and better in everything we do,” said Vice Chancellor for Athletics and University Affairs and Athletic Director Candice Storey Lee.

Learn more about the university’s Zero Waste commitment. >>

The university has already reached a 47 percent diversion rate as it has implemented a number of changes to help reach this goal, including eliminating water and soda plastic bottles in dining facilities in fall 2019. The addition of PepsiCo products allows the university to make larger strides towards its zero-waste goal by eliminating all plastic beverage bottles. PepsiCo beverage products will be available in glass and aluminum packaging. Other sustainable options including compostable cups, lids and straws will also be used.

While all first-year students are provided a reusable water bottle through Campus Dining’s “No More Plastic” campaign, the university recognized that there would be circumstances in which students would need to purchase a single-use water beverage. Through this new partnership, the university will now sell Aquafina water in resealable aluminum cans.

“As one of the largest global food and beverage companies, PepsiCo is committed to do our part in being part of the solution for global sustainability needs,” said Richard Nash, VP, Foodservice, Pepsi Beverages – South Division. “We are thrilled to partner with an institution such as Vanderbilt, which places such an emphasis on sustainability in its operations.”

More information about Campus Dining’s waste-saving initiatives can be found on the Campus Dining website.

Vanderbilt’s Zero Waste Master Plan is available on the FutureVU Sustainability website.

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