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Dr. Pepper Snapple Reduces Plastic By Using More Recycled Content

Gina-Marie Cheeseman
| Monday June 27th, 2011 | 0 Comments

Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, Inc. (DPS) released its first CSR report, Sustainability in Action a few weeks ago. The company, whose net sales totaled $5.6 billion last year, saved 12.5 million pounds of plastic last year by using more recycled PET and lighter packaging. DPS claims to have the lightest two-liter bottle in the industry. It became the first company to fully implement the “1881 standard” for the neck finishes and closures of its water and carbonated soft drink bottles. The “1881 standard” for soft drink containers reduces the weight of containers up to 11 percent, saving the equivalent of 25 rail cars of PET material a year. The savings from adopting the standard covered the cost of the project within six months, and adopting the standard was one of the  initiatives DPS announced last year that it planned to complete by 2012.

The other initiatives DPS announced last year have been completed as well, which included reducing 64-oz. aseptic/cold-fill juice and tea bottle weights by five percent, saving 900,000 pounds of resin a year. DPS converted the finish on all Snapple 20-oz. bottles from 43 mm to 38 mm, which saves 1.2 million pounds of PET and 147,500 pounds of high-density polyethylene a year.

DPS adopted new initiatives to increase its use of post-consumer recycled (PCR) material and reduce overall PET use, which include:

  • Commercially implementing 100 percent PCR single-serve containers in select markets, with select brands, by the end of 2011.
  • Conducting market-test evaluation of reusable, multi-serve juice and secondary display packaging, further reducing the need for disposable corrugate boxes.
  • Expanding the use of Green Ink printing technology beyond Deja Blue to also include labels for brands such as 7UP, A&W and Diet Rite

DPS also announced its five-year goals which include environmental and nutritional goals. Two of the environmental goals are improving energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions in manufacturing by 10 percent per gallon of finished product. Other environmental goals will help DPS meet the aforementioned goals:

  • Replacing 60,000 vending machines and coolers with Energy Star rated equipment that is approximately 30 percent more energy-efficient
  • Increasing product shipments per gallon of fuel used by 20 percent

The nutritional goals include:

  • Supporting local and/or national programs that encourage active lifestyles and fitness
  • Contributing a total of 100,000 volunteer hours and attaining an annual giving level of $10 million in charitable cash donations
  • Maintaining team leader engagement scores comparable to or better than those of other high-performing companies

In 2010, DPS announced it will join the American Beverage Association’s Clear on Calories initiative, in support of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Campaign. As part of its participation, DPS will put calorie counts on the front of its product packaging. Dr Pepper, Squirt and Hawaiian Punch packages already have the new labeling, and most of its largest brands will convert to the new labeling this year. The rest of its products will convert in 2012.

“We have much to be proud of as an organization that’s only now two years old,” said Larry Young, DPS president and CEO. “But this is only a starting point for us. Looking beyond our performance to date and the goals we’ve set for 2015, we understand that sustainability—whether environmental, social or economic—is an ongoing journey. There’s much more to do, and we look forward to engaging our stakeholders to help ensure that day-in and day-out, our focus is always on continuous improvement throughout our business.”


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