Enviro News - March 2009

PepsiCo's New Energy Efficient Drinks Vending Machines

Posted by Enviromental News' Energies Correspondent on 30/03/2009 - 15:55:00

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Beverages and food conglomerate the Pepsi Company – shortened to ‘PepsiCo’ – is trialling new energy efficient drinks vending machines – a process aimed at helping it lessen its carbon footprint, as well as cut down electricity bills at the locations where such machines are installed.

30 machines are involved in this trial – all of them in and around Washington DC. According to PepsiCo’s Robert Lewis, the plan is to have the new machines in worldwide use in years to come.

The present generation of vending machines consume approximately six kilowatt-hours (KW-h) of electricity each day, on average. PepsiCo’s machines, though, use around 15 per cent less than this – just over five KW-h. Present vending machine technology, incidentally, has, in itself, become much more energy efficient in recent years, with 44 per cent less electricity consumed than was in 2003.

“That [the 2003 figure] was the equivalent of burning five 100-watt bulbs constantly”, Mr Lewis explained, adding: “We're currently down to about two 100-watt bulbs.

“They're not using a lot of energy as it is.”

Lower Vending Machine Emissions

Lower vending machine emissions are a feature of the new unit – down 12 per cent below the current generation. Part of this achievement is down to the substitution of CO2 in place of HFCs (Hydrofluorocarbons) as a drinks coolant. HFCs, according to scientists, are linked to climate change.

Both PepsiCo and its fellow beverages manufacturer Coca-Cola have been criticised for not taking environmental issues into account during the manufacturing stage. One such issue was that of plastic, but both have now switched to using bottles that weigh less.

The number of vending machines around the world stocked with PepsiCo products like Sierra Mist, Aquafina, Mountain Dew and Pepsi itself is anything to up to five million. The usual arrangement between the company and sites like sports facilities, shops and offices that host them is that profits are shared, while PepsiCo retains ownership of them, and is responsible for maintenance, etc.

Less Energy Consumed

On this basis – while the new vending machines cost more than their present equivalents – those hosting them will not have to pay any more for the privilege and, in fact, their electricity bills will actually go down, with less energy consumed.

PepsiCo’s vending machines represent the first of their kind to be installed in the US.

Earlier this month, Coca-Cola released details of its contribution to climate change. The firm recently launched its own non-HFC vending machines – the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing being among the places that these were first seen.

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