Wake up daily to our latest coverage of business done better, directly in your inbox.


Get your weekly dose of analysis on rising corporate activism.

Select Newsletter

By signing up you agree to our privacy policy. You can opt out anytime.

Gina-Marie Cheeseman headshot

Dr. Pepper Snapple Group is Serious About Reducing Waste


Dr. Pepper Snapple Group has surpassed several of its environmental targets, as its latest corporate social responsibility (CSR) report reveals.  The company that has over 50 beverage brands is really serious about reducing waste. DPS set a goal of recycling 60 million pounds of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic by 2015, but last year recycled 60.7 million pounds.

The company also achieved its goal of an 80 percent recycling rate by 2015 -- four years early in 2011. DPS set a new goal of a 90 percent recycling rate of its solid manufacturing waste. It is well on its way to meeting the new goal: In 2013, it recycled over 85 percent of its manufacturing solid waste, a 3 percent increase from 2012. Some of its sites achieved double-digit increases in their recycling rates in 2013. One of those sites is its Miami plant which achieved a recycle rate of 83 percent, up from 61 percent a year earlier.

Through partnerships, DPS is also able to promote recycling: It works with the American Beverage Association to help develop an industry approach to reducing waste. It began partnering with Keep America Beautiful in 2013 to support recycling efforts in communities across the country. Through its partnership, the company donated $300,000 to put recycling bins in public parks, which gives consumers more access to local recycling systems. DPS renewed the partnership for 2014.

Working on reducing fuel use

DPS is also working on reducing its overall fuel use, and set a new baseline for its goal of increasing product shipments per gallon of fuel use by 20 percent by 2015.

The beverage giant admits that its progress towards the goal “has been relatively flat,” which it attributes to a “slight decrease in production volume year-over-year and a shift to other lower-emission methods of transportation.” It is taking steps to meet its goal, including increasing the efficiency of its product shipments by reducing the miles driven per shipment by over 3 percent.

Another way it is reducing fuel use is by using EPA SmartWay-certified carriers in its third-party logistics. It has been an EPA SmartWay member since 2010.

Conserving water and protecting watersheds

Water is the main ingredient in the company’s products, so reducing its use will be a big achievement. The goal is to use 1.77 gallons of water per gallon of finished products and discharge 0.79 gallons of wastewater per gallon of finished product. In 2013, DPS used about 2.05 gallons of water for each gallon of finished product and discharged 0.88 gallons of wastewater per gallon of finished product.

DPS also promotes good water stewardship by partnering with certain nonprofits, including the Nature Conservancy (TNC). Through its four-year, $1 million partnership with TNC, the company has helped protect 2 million acres of watershed in the Dallas, Houston and San Antonio, Texas areas.

Energy continues with efficiency projects

DPS admits that progress towards its goal for its energy use “has remained flat” because energy efficiency improvements have been offset by production volume changes. However, its energy efficiency investments have resulted in improvements in various sites.

One of those sites is the company’s 850,000-square-foot distribution center in Victorville, California, which received LEED Silver certification. Its Plano, Texas, headquarters received LEED Gold certification for a multi-use building and is Energy Star certified by the EPA.

Image credit: Dr. Pepper Snapple Group

Gina-Marie Cheeseman headshotGina-Marie Cheeseman

Gina-Marie is a freelance writer and journalist armed with a degree in journalism, and a passion for social justice, including the environment and sustainability. She writes for various websites, and has made the 75+ Environmentalists to Follow list by Mashable.com.

Read more stories by Gina-Marie Cheeseman