BURLINGTON, Mass., and PLANO, Texas — Less than one year after the merger of Keurig Green Mountain and Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP) launched a unified corporate responsibility (CR) plan June 3 to deliver a positive effect on the environment and consumers' health and well-being.
KDP's new "Drink Well. Do Good." CR platform was developed following extensive analysis across the company's hot and cold beverage operations, and is focused in four areas where, as a combined company, KDP can drive the greatest effect:
- Supply chain.
- Health and well-being.
"As we formed Keurig Dr Pepper 11 months ago, we recognized the unique opportunity to assess our combined footprint, address the urgent issue of plastic waste in the environment and, ultimately, create a positive impact on the people and places we touch,” said Chairman and CEO Bob Gamgort. “The result is our new vision for corporate responsibility, backed up by specific goals that will set the pace for our transformation."
KDP Chief Sustainability Officer Monique Oxender said the combined organization has quickly united behind the Drink Well. Do Good. platform.
“We are eager to harness the power of our more than 25,000 employees in this important work," she said. "Our new goals build from existing programs, such as our conversion to recyclable K-Cup pods—already complete in Canada and on track to complete in the U.S. in 2020—and expanded partnerships with leading organizations like The Nature Conservancy and the Closed Loop Fund. We will seek opportunities to rapidly test, learn and apply to meet the urgent need for action and to create positive, lasting change for generations to come."
Here are details of the new program …
KDP is firmly committed to reducing its environmental footprint while restoring resources for a circular economy, the Plano, Texas-based company said. Eliminating packaging waste is a top priority for the company, with a focus on holistic solutions that start with smart design for recyclability or compostability and reducing the amount of material used. KDP strategies are designed to close the loop through use of recycled content and broad engagement and investment to improve and increase recycling in communities across North America.
In addition to reaffirming that it remains on track to make all K-Cup pods recyclable by the end of 2020, the company is introducing the following new packaging goals:
- Convert to 100% recyclable or compostable packaging by 2025.
- Use 30% post-consumer recycled content across packaging portfolio by 2025.
With the announcement of these goals, KDP will also become a signatory to the New Plastic Economy Global Commitment, an initiative of The Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Reflecting the urgency of the issue, KDP is expanding collaboration with a number of stakeholders—including industry groups, nongovernmental organizations and investment firms—to move the company's packaging commitments beyond independent ambitions to collective action. This includes key partnerships and investments with The Recycling Partnership, the Closed Loop Fund and, as a founding member, the World Wildlife Fund's new ReSource: Plastic activation hub.
KDP is striving for zero waste and positive impact across the company's entire footprint by focusing on all environmental impacts and natural resource use. Today, the company is introducing the following new unified environmental goals:
- Send zero waste to landfill across operations by 2025.
- Obtain 100% of electricity from renewable sources by 2025.
- Improve water use efficiency by 20% by 2025.
- Partner with highest water-risk operating communities to replenish 100% of water used for the company's beverages in those communities by 2025.
In addition to the KDP commitment to 100% renewable electricity, the company is joining the Science Based Targets Initiative to develop new, unified comprehensive carbon reduction goals in the future.
KDP will continue to be a leader of sustainable practices in the coffee supply chain, engaging suppliers, farmers and both local and international organizations to benefit coffee farmers and their communities in the short and long term, it said. The company is the largest buyer of fair-trade coffee in the world and is working toward achieving its commitment to responsibly source 100% of its coffee and brewers by 2020, it said. KDP's social impact investments have reached more than 630,000 people in coffee communities, increasing farmer yields, profitability and resiliency, and the company is on track to meet its previously set goal of significantly improving the lives of 1 million people in its supply chain by 2020.
KDP is continuing to explore how the model of engagement and influence it has long applied to coffee can apply to its newly expanded supply chain, including commodities such as aluminum, apples, corn and other sweeteners, and is working to set broader responsible sourcing goals beyond its coffee commitments in the future.
Health and well-being
KDP is committed to providing a balanced portfolio of beverage options and the resources consumers need to make informed choices for themselves and their families, the company said. The beverage maker’s portfolio contains more low- and no-calorie choices than ever before, and new smaller-size options are available across its family of brands, it said. The company will partner with leading organizations to accelerate portfolio innovation and transparency for health and well-being. This includes continued industry collaboration with the American Beverage Association and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation for the Balanced Calorie Initiative, with a collective industry goal to reduce beverage calories 20% per person nationally by 2025.
KDP is committed to giving back and engaging its employees to build stronger, healthier communities, the company said. The company invests in local communities with a goal to provide play opportunities to 13.5 million children and families by 2020 through its Let's Play initiative, a collaboration with national nonprofits KaBoom and Good Sports. Since 2011, KDP has led more than 100 community playground build projects in underserved areas and has provided grants to build or improve more than 2,300 play spaces across the United States, Canada and Mexico. In addition, KDP has provided more than 1,700 sports equipment grants to youth-serving organizations in need.
Keurig Dr Pepper is a leading coffee and beverage company in North America, with annual revenue in excess of $11 billion. KDP holds leadership positions in soft drinks, specialty coffee and tea, water, juice and juice drinks and mixers, and markets the No. 1 single-serve coffee brewing system in the United States. Keurig is based in Burlington, Mass.