The Economist: Why firms go green

Nov 23, 2011 11:30 AM ET

Why firms go green

SHORTLY before the 2009 UN climate summit in Copenhagen, many companies got into green. The summit was expected to lead to new regulations restricting greenhouse-gas emissions. Dozens of chief executives came to see history being made and to be seen on the right side of it. But Copenhagen was a flop. Most firms turned their thoughts elsewhere. Only four bosses showed up at the next annual climate meet, in Cancún. Few are expected at this year’s bash, which begins in Durban on November 28th.

Alas, that represents a realistic assessment of the Durban summit’s chances of delivering anything like the long-term certainty that businesses crave. Of 300 bosses of big global firms recently quizzed by Ernst & Young, 83% said they wanted to see a legally binding multilateral deal struck in Durban to update the ailing Kyoto protocol and help to put a price on carbon emissions. But only 18% expect this to happen. The absence of a clear climate policy helps explain why, for example, investment in British clean technology fell from around $11 billion in 2009 to $3 billion last year. It would also suggest that any firm factoring a steep carbon price into its plans—as Shell does, assuming a notional price of $40 a tonne—should quietly lower it.   To continue reading The Economist article on why firms go green, click here.   About PepsiCo 
PepsiCo offers the world's largest portfolio of billion-dollar food and beverage brands, including 19 different product lines that generate more than $1 billion in annual retail sales each. Our main businesses -- Quaker, Tropicana, Gatorade, Frito-Lay, and Pepsi Cola -- also make hundreds of other enjoyable foods and beverages that are respected household names throughout the world. With net revenues of approximately $60 billion, PepsiCo's people are united by our unique commitment to sustainable growth by investing in a healthier future for people and our planet, which we believe also means a more successful future for PepsiCo. We call this commitment Performance with Purpose: PepsiCo's promise to provide a wide range of foods and beverages for local tastes; to find innovative ways to minimize our impact on the environment, including by conserving energy and water usage, and reducing packaging volume; to provide a great workplace for our associates; and to respect, support, and invest in the local communities where we operate. For more information, please visit   PEPSI19006