Pepsi testing new environmentally-friendly vending machines

Posted by James Ferre on 31st March 2009

A pilot program to test an all-natural refrigeration system in Pepsi-Cola vending machines begins this month in the US.

Under the new program, The Pepsi Bottling Group (PBG) is placing 30 Pepsi-Cola vending machines in high-consumer traffic areas in the Washington, D.C. area. The machines, which feature the new Pepsi logo along with a special green refrigerant sticker, use less energy and generate 12% less greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than current vending machines. In addition to their energy efficiency improvements, the new machines use carbon dioxide (CO2), a natural refrigerant, instead of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). This marks the first time that vending machines cooled by CO2 have been introduced in the United States.

“Many people don’t realise that the largest part of a vending machine’s GHG emissions – about 95 per cent, in fact – come from the energy required to run it,” said Robert Lewis, VP of packaging and equipment development for PepsiCo. “The insulating foam and refrigerant gases are responsible for the rest, and we’re committed to reducing all parts of the equation.”In addition to the CO2-cooled machines included in this pilot program, PepsiCo is testing thousands of machines around the world that rely on other green refrigerants – specifically isobutane and propane – that also have a lower climate impact than current HFC refrigerants.

“We’re constantly looking for ways to make our business more efficient and environmentally sustainable,” Mr Lewis reported. “This field test will help us evaluate the performance and reliability of these new machines in a real-world environment. We hope to get a sneak preview of what sustainable refrigeration could look like on a larger scale.”

PepsiCo has announced goals to reduce water consumption by 20 per cent, reduce electricity consumption 20 per cent, and reduce fuels consumption by 25 per cent per unit of production by 2015 as compared to 2006.