PepsiCo’s Greenwashing Attempts Foiled

posted by Kelsey Baker

PepsiCo is feeling the pressure this week, as people across the country are calling on the giant snack food company to cut Conflict Palm Oil from its products. In addition to RAN’s high profile banner drop in NYC, and the student activists who confronted PepsiCo executive Dr. Mehmood Kahn, PepsiCo was exposed at two major Earth Day events in Dallas and San Francisco.

At Earth Day Texas 2016, over 50,000 people converged in Dallas at one of the World’s largest green festivals. As PepsiCo attempts to brand its products as “healthy” and “sustainable”, it was no surprise that it was a major corporate sponsor of the event. The PepsiCo exhibit was centered around an electric Frito Lay delivery truck, where people could hear PepsiCo’s lip service and claims of environmental and social responsibility. But festival goers were not fooled by this greenwashing.

FritoLay_truck.jpgPepsiCo’s Frito Lay delivery truck fails to mention the carbon emissions, rainforest destruction and human rights and labor abuses in its snacks.

Several activists stood next to PepsiCo’s exhibit to call out the company’s hypocrisy and expose its flawed business model and the egregious human rights abuses and deforestation in its palm oil supply chain. After educating PepsiCo consumers about its lagging palm oil policy, these activists joined a worldwide effort and collected photo petitions as part of RAN’s campaign to stand in solidarity with palm oil workers. As Conflict Palm Oil companies cheat their workers out of fair pay and benefits, poison them with toxic chemicals, force them to bring their children and spouses to work through an unjust wage system, and even sometimes traffic and enslave their workers, PepsiCo does nothing.

20160422_EarthDay_Dallas_2.jpgActivists collected photo petitions in front of PepsiCo’s Dallas Earth Day exhibit to stand in solidarity with palm oil workers.

On the same day, PepsiCo also felt the pressure in San Francisco. At Earth Day 2016 Street Fest San Francisco, thousands of people gathered to celebrate, while Naked Juice (PepsiCo’s subsidiary) sponsored the event and attempted to pose as a responsible and sustainable company. But RAN was there to expose PepsiCo and show its true colors. We collected dozens of photo petitions to stand in solidarity with palm oil workers and educated hundreds of event attendees about the real impacts of PepsiCo’s consumption of Conflict Palm Oil.


RAN volunteers stand outside PepsiCo’s Naked Juice truck at the San Francisco Earth Day event.

Six months ago, PepsiCo released an inadequate palm oil policy that contained a giant loophole the size of Indonesia. The policy still allows for the exploitation of Indonesian workers and violations of community land rights. Every day that PepsiCo refuses to take meaningful action is another day where palm oil workers are exploited, children are working on plantations rather than in school, and ecosystems are destroyed.

In less than one week, PepsiCo’s shareholders will convene at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in North Carolina on May 4th, and RAN will be there to deliver hundreds of photo petitions to CEO Indra Nooyi. This is the moment to crank up the pressure on key executives that sign off on PepsiCo’s flawed business model each and every day.

Will you join activists and over 30 organizations across the globe and stand in solidarity with frontline communities and workers?

With your photo petition, we will continue to bring our message directly to top decision-makers: PepsiCo must take meaningful action to eliminate Conflict Palm Oil and human suffering from its products now! Take action at today.