'Generation Next' is now 'Generation Green'
When it comes to sustainability, recent precedence has proven that the best ideas to resolve some of the most pressing environmental issues of today can come from the younger generation. Young people, as we say, are the inheritors of the future, so why not include them in the mission to find solutions that might have the power to create a better world for all? Many such programs and dialogues are now being generated on various societal levels.
Voices joining in from industry, academia, the business community, economists, and scientists all have the same chorus. There is a passion to unite for change. Enter: PepsiCo Pakistan with a vision for a world in which packaging never becomes waste.
Industry and academia – the perfect match
PepsiCo Pakistan is one of the leading food and beverage companies in Pakistan, with more than six decades long association with Pakistan. It is one of the first multinational companies to have invested in Pakistan and the bond remains strong.
From beverages to snacks, PepsiCo Pakistan has led the charge on innovation in the industry. The iconic brand campaigns haven’t just featured some of the country’s most established stars, they have also created some of the country’s most unforgettable icons. But the company’s desire to do more has always been paired with a desire to do better, which is where our story picks up from.
Two years ago, PepsiCo pledged to some bold and ambitious sustainability goals in the light of climate change challenges that threaten to overwhelm our resources, environment, the people of the world and the planet. The extent of it would be variable in different economies, but with a focus on Pakistan, PepsiCo is committed to taking environmental challenges and dealing with them with resilience that is paired inseparably with the way they do business.
Whether it is agriculture, sustainable use of water, recycling or involving employees, partners, and consumers in the chain of making more positive and conscientious choices for the world at large, PepsiCo Pakistan is turning a new leaf. Chief in their repertoire of sustainability is working on a circular economy for plastic to help change the way society makes, uses, and disposes off plastics.
The company has launched several meaningful programs in this regard in collaboration with strategic partners to strengthen the recycling infrastructure in Pakistan.
To address the issue of the lack of a formal recycling infrastructure in the country, PepsiCo Pakistan joined forces with collection and recycling partners such as Green Earth Recycling, WWF - Pakistan, Novatex Limited, and Saaf Suthra Shehar and is now running one of the country’s largest collection and recycling programs to drive a circular economy of plastics that demonstrates tangible impact.
Taking this robust initiative one step further, PepsiCo Pakistan recently launched the country’s first beverage bottle made from recycled plastic. This has been welcomed by the Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC), Government of Pakistan and is in line with their 'Recycle Plastics' initiative.
The other entity in the story is National University of Science and Technology (NUST), representing academia. As the trendsetting comprehensive science and technology university of Pakistan, NUST has become a home to some of the finest minds of this generation.
With three decades of pathbreaking and innovative leadership, NUST also carries an agenda for sustainability and launched its Sustainability office, the first of its kind in Pakistan working to strengthen industry relations, promote SDGs, and align direction towards the true sustainability of the university.
On July 20, 2022 PepsiCo Pakistan and NUST representatives came together to sign a Memorandum of Agreement to create the perfect mix of industry and academia, and to enhance research and development projects, specialised training programs, and research events.
The initiative was led by Dr. Rizwan pro-rector (RIC) NUST and Mr. Mohammad Khosa, Senior Director of Commercial and Corporate Affairs PepsiCo Pakistan. The aim was also to organise student competitions on issues of sustainability to create that hunger for solutions that our younger generation must strive for.
And so on November 17, which is International Students’ Day, PepsiCo Pakistan and NUST launched 'Generation Green', a student competition for final year students at NUST to come up with research based and innovative proposals to finding practical solutions to the challenges of dealing with plastic.
'Generation Next' decides what happens next
While NUST is busy in registering teams and collecting project plans, PepsiCo Pakistan is geared to provide mentorship opportunities and seed funding for the winning idea. Recycling partners will be brought in to assess all presented ideas so that the best one comes to the fore and is scaled up.
Speaking about the contest, Mohammad Khosa, Senior Director Commercial and Corporate Affairs PepsiCo Pakistan said, “The student-led contest with NUST will add another layer of collaborators in PepsiCo’s global ambition to ensure plastic never becomes waste. Young people like the brilliant students at NUST hold the key to our future successes and represent the best minds of their generation. At PepsiCo Pakistan, we believe in amplifying their genius to make it a better world for all.”
Khurram Shah, Director Public Policy and Government Affairs at PepsiCo Pakistan believes that the collaboration between PepsiCo and NUST is the perfect alignment of industry and academics. “It will nurture the next generation of changemakers to promote positive environmental impacts with innovative concepts.”
Dr. Rizwan Riaz, Pro-Rector (RIC) at NUST said, “The launch of Generation Green marks an important milestone in our partnership with PepsiCo to develop innovative and technology-based solutions in the areas of waste reduction and sustainability. It is a great example of industry and academia joining hands to solve some of the most pressing issues of our time and utilising our brilliant young minds. We are happy to see such initiatives taking place and look forward to many more to come, paving the way for research and development to flourish in the country.”
With PepsiCo Pakistan continuing to empower young people more and more through contests like Generation Green, it is becoming obvious that the company aims to work with the next generation of changemakers as inventors of a better future.
The journey of creating icons continues for PepsiCo Pakistan, and artists, musicians and sports stars will soon be joined by young scientists and tech gurus.
This content is a paid advertisement by PepsiCo Pakistan and is not associated with or necessarily reflective of the views of Dawn.com or its editorial staff.