The University Network

PepsiCo Recycling Zero Impact Fund Challenges Students to Green Their Campus with Cash Prizes

PepsiCo, through its Recycling Zero Impact Fund, is giving students the chance to win as much as $10,000 to fund new sustainability projects or to improve existing efforts on their campuses.

“We all want to protect the planet,” said Tom Mooradian, manager of environmental sustainability at PepsiCo.

None of us can do it alone, but we can help. We can make a difference together, and colleges and universities are a great place to start.

Protecting the planet is a key pillar of PepsiCo’s “Performance with Purpose” agenda.

PepsiCo Recycling is an initiative that brings this mission to life with the goal of helping increase the U.S. recycling rate to a significantly higher level.

PepsiCo’s partnership with colleges and universities dates back to 2010 when it launched its campus Recycling program. So far, 103 campuses have partnered with PepsiCo on sustainability projects since 2010, and more than $140,000 have been provided by the company to support its college partners’ sustainability efforts.

Last year, as a result of Pepsico’s experience with its college partners, the company went a step further and launched its Zero Impact Fund initiative. The goal is to help college campuses become more green.

“As part of PepsiCo’s Performance with Purpose agenda, PepsiCo Recycling’s Zero Impact Fund launched last year as a result of the partnerships we’ve built on campuses,” Mooradian said. “Through the PepsiCo Campus Recycling Challenge we issued to participating schools, we recognized how campus communities rallied and worked together to increase sustainability on their campus.”

The initiative is inspired by the company’s realization of the importance of sustainability to campuses as well as the unique needs of each campus.

“We heard from schools that recycling is important, but they also want to broaden sustainability efforts, including reducing energy and waste overall,” he explained. “We also recognized that each school has differing infrastructure and needs. The Zero Impact Fund is a way for schools to help surface innovative ideas to help meet their own unique sustainability goals.”  

The goal is to fund projects that benefit campuses in the long term.

“The Zero Impact Fund, which launched in August 2016, provides cash prizes for college sustainability projects related to energy, waste, or water with the goal of achieving long-term environmental, economic, and social impacts,” said Mooradian.

Last year, the Zero Impact Fund awarded cash prizes to eight schools chosen from more than 40 applications.

“In its first year, the Zero Impact Fund was able to provide up to $10,000 to eight colleges and universities,” said Mooradian.

The cash prizes were used to fund various programs, including campus bike share, composting, and solar energy programs.

This year, the program is planning to significantly increase the amount of funding available to make an impact on more campuses.

“Our intent is to fund as many ideas as we can for the 2017-2018 school year, based on the amount of applications we receive. Schools must submit their proposals before December 19, and from there PepsiCo will award funding for projects aimed at making environmental, economic and social sustainability impacts on campus that will help schools reach their sustainability goals.”

PepsiCo Recycling encourages students, staff, and faculty to submit their ideas for campus sustainability and zero-impact initiatives.

Proposals will be evaluated by a PepsiCo Recycling committee, which will consider factors such as environmental and social impact, longevity, ingenuity, desirability and feasibility.

Applications can be submitted online through December 19, 2017.