The fleet division of Frito Lay was once only a footnote in the PepsiCo annual report. But since creating a vision in 2005 to become a world class fleet, Frito Lay has become an industry leader in the use of alternative fuels and electric vehicles.
On September 28, 2014, at an event hosted by the University of Dallas’ Sustainable Business Network, a group of local business leaders heard from Steve Hanson and Ken Marko how Frito Lay based its vision of becoming a world class fleet on the platforms of reliability, sustainability, and capability. “We knew that being able to put or products on the shelf reliably while saving on fuel costs and carbon emissions would lead to improved performance and improved service to our customers,” said Marko, the company’s Senior Fleet Sustainability Manager. The goal of Frito Lay’s fleet division is a 50% reduction in the use of traditional fuels by 2020.
Hanson, Director of Fleet Engineering for Frito Lay, explained to the group the logistical problems associated with the transition of its tractor trailer fleet from traditional to compressed natural gas vehicles, which currently make up 30% of the company’s fleet. In addition to working with manufacturers to create the trucks themselves, the company had to invest in infrastructure associated with fueling stations large enough to service tractor trailers. Frito Lay also invested heavily in the education of its drivers, realizing that a company-wide culture of sustainability was necessary for the success of the fleet transition. As a result of the company’s commitment to alternative fuels, the tractor trailer fleet has saved 5,000,000 gallons of diesel and 13,000 metric tons of emission annually.
Another integral part of Frito Lay’s commitment to sustainability is its shift to electric box trucks for its short-range delivery drivers. Marko explained that the company took advantage of government stimulus money to launch its electric vehicle program by buying 155 trucks before they had even committed to a pilot program. “It was a risk. It was not practical, but it was the right thing to do,” said Marko. One of the key components of the success during this transition was the education of the route drivers. Because these drivers are commissioned salespeople, their buy-in was crucial to the company’s sustainability plan. “Our people see the long term benefits of electric vehicles. I spoke to a driver who said, ‘I don’t want to contribute to the pollution my grandkids will have to clean up,’” said Marko. Frito Lay’s goal is to have the largest box truck fleet in the world and to eliminate 500 million gallons of diesel and five metric tons of CO2 from the environment.
Following the presentations Hanson, Marko, and Cynthia Baker, Director of Corporate Communications for PepsiCo, took questions from the audience about the logistics of the company’s sustainability plan. The speakers encouraged audience members to contact them personally for more information about the company’s fleet program.
The University of Dallas Sustainable Business Network (SBN) is an open forum for building relationships, exchanging best practices and fostering dialogue around issues of corporate social responsibility, sustainability and eco-innovation, and corporate governance. Hosted by the AACSB-accredited Satish & Yasmin Gupta College of Business at the University of Dallas, SBN hosts quarterly events and panel discussions on relevant topics led by recognized industry experts.
The University of Dallas Sustainable Business Network (SBN) is an open forum for building relationships, exchanging best practices, and fostering dialogue around issues of corporate social responsibility, sustainability and eco-innovation, and corporate governance. Hosted by the AACSB-accredited Satish & Yasmin Gupta College of Business at the University of Dallas, SBN hosts quarterly events and panel discussions on relevant topics led by recognized industry experts. Information on the next SBN event can be found at here.