May 8, 2013

Twenty years ago, Frito-Lay began taking a look at going green, according to Christopher Wyse who handles communications for PepsiCo Americas Foods and Frito-Lay.  

Darrell Doss of Frito-Lay; Mary Ann Thompson-Frenk and Joshua Frenk, cofounders of  Memnosyne Institute; and Ronnie Love of Frito-Lay. Photo by Green Source DFW.

That initial vision grew and today the company is a leader in sustainability, an effort recently recognized when Frito-Lay was awarded the Green Source DFW Environmental Leadership Awards for For Profit/Corporate Professional in March for its continued commitment.  

“Frito-Lay is pleased to be recognized with the Green Source DFW award,” Wyse says. “We are proud of our many environmental sustainability achievements, including those at our corporate headquarters in Plano.”  

Courtesy of Frito-Lay.

In 2007, the Facilities Team at Frito-Lay was challenged by the Frito Lay CEO to achieve LEED EB Gold Certification for the 27-year-old North American Headquarters located in Plano. The building had been designed in the early 1980s without much regard to energy efficiency and other green components so common today.  

Wyse says over the years even before the Gold Leed challenge, the company has looked for ways to improve the facility from an eco-friendly standpoint with efforts to reduce use of water reduction, natural gas and motor fuel.

“We targeted specific areas to make reductions” he said. “We have worked hard to accomplish our goals.”

Even the Dirt Doctor Howard Garrett has recognized Frito-Lay and others for their landscaping:  "Since all of these projects have been very successful, you might ask why aren’t more projects doing the same? The answer is that change, of any kind, is difficult and those in charge of the status quo are not interested in losing their position, their authority or their money to the new ideas. As you can see, it has nothing to do with how well organic techniques work."

Left, George Guck Frito-Lay Facilities Team. Right, Frito Lay executives with LEED Gold EB. Courtesy of Frito-Lay.

Wyse adds that tens of millions of dollars have been saved during the companies eco-friendly quest and even better, they met their Leed Gold challenge as well. After the upgrade of the overall building energy efficiency plan from the initial EPA Energy Star rating of 47 to EPA Energy Star rating of 88 by 2011, the LEED Gold EB Certification came in September of 2009 at the Plano headquarters.   

Wyse adds that Frito-Lay is one of just two or three companies in Texas with the Gold LEED EB status certification. Overall it took the company a little under two years to make it happen.

Currently the Facilities Team has an eye toward looking for even more eco-friendly ways of doing things with a strong push toward conscientious use of energy while adding solar heat water, energy efficient windows and even more recycling, which is also a mainstay at the Plano facility already.

The company has also been recognized by the EPA for its commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions using renewable energy in its Casa Grande and Modesto locations. Its Casa Grande Arizona facility has reached “near net zero" for its manufacturing plant there. Frito-Lay Modesto, Calif. manufacturing facility is building on its environmental sustainability efforts by installing an innovative, one megawatt cylindrical solar photovoltaic (PV) system on its rooftop.

Read more about the Frito-Lay’s mission to protect the earth.

SStay up to date on everything green in North Texas, including the latest news and events! Sign up for the weekly Green Source DFW Newsletter! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Also check out our new podcast The Texas Green Report, available on your favorite podcast app.