Marking its fifth plant in Poland, PepsiCo has held a foundation laying ceremony for its largest and most sustainable food manufacturing plant in Europe. Developed in stages, PepsiCo plans to invest US$257mn (1bn PLN) into to plant, which is expected to be completed by 2025.
Responding to the Rapid Growth in its Food Portfolio
Producing for both the domestic market, as well as exporting to more than 20 other countries, the factory will be the equivalent size of seven football pitches; located in Swiete close to Sroda Slaska within the Legnica Special Economic Zone (Lower Silesia).
This new facility will contribute to the ongoing sustainable development of both Polish and European economies by bringing employment, developing local communities, and expanding its sustainable farming program.
“We’ve been operating and investing in Poland for 30 years. It is a great central hub as our food business grows in Central and Eastern Europe. But growth has to be sustainable. We want our plants to be the greenest, not only in Europe, but around the world. At Sroda Slaska we are re-imagining the future of food production. We want to create a model facility for sustainability in Europe,” said Silviu Popovici, Chief Executive Officer, PepsiCo Europe.
Features of the New Manufacturing Plant
The state-of-the-art plant has been developed with sustainability at its heart. The plant, which is based on green design principles, will be joining its other manufacturing plants in Poland by using 100% renewable electricity. However, this new plant will be going further.
In addition to low utility consumption, the plant will be fully self-sufficient by generating energy via solar panels - PepsiCo also has plans to introduce an onsite solar farm in the future. PepsiCo will also reuse heating, cooling, and water at the site, as well as collecting rainwater for use.
A unique feature to the plant will also see the use of potato waste from the manufacturing process, using leftover peelings in a special biomass generator to power the plant and then converted into a low carbon fertilizer which will be provided to farmers.
“We are proud that the new project will make use of the latest green technologies. We are already using 100% wind energy to power all four of the existing plants and the HQ in Warsaw, with additional solar panels placed in selected manufacturing plants, e.g. in Michrow and the central warehouse in Mszczonow. These innovations will make Sroda Slaska carbon neutral by 2035,” commented Michał Jaszczyk, CEO PepsiCo Poland.
Advancing Poland’s Economy
As part of the project, PepsiCo plans to roll out a new direct and indirect hiring programme. With the company currently employing 3,600 and supporting 15,000 across the supply chain in Poland, the new plant will employ more than 450 qualified staff.
In addition, the crops for the new manufacturing plant will be supplied by Polish farmers in close collaboration with PepsiCo as part of the Polish Sustainable Farming Program.
The programme was established 28 years ago; currently, PepsiCo sources more than 230,000 tons of sustainably grown potatoes per year, which is expected to grow by 60,000 tons per year by 2023.
PepsiCo will also initiate new relationships with suppliers for corn; seeking to source 330,000 tons for the manufacturing of Doritos by 2027.
“Thanks to industrial projects such as PepsiCo’s latest investment, with enormous significance for our community, region and the entire country, we will be receiving another strong development incentive, this time centred around farming and food manufacturing. We are happy for PepsiCo’s strategic choice of Sroda Slaska, and strongly believe that our collaboration will be mutually beneficial – said Adam Ruciński, Mayor of Środa Śląska. – It will ensure good and stable employment for hundreds of people from the vicinity of Sroda Slaska or even the Wroclaw metropolitan area and will also provide the farmers from our sub-region with the opportunities to deliver high-quality produce and fair incomes,” said Adam Ruciński, Mayor of Środa Śląska.