PepsiCo Inc., one of the world’s largest beverage and food companies, plans to invest more than $400 million during the next five years to uplift Black communities across America.
The commitment is part of many initiatives by PepsiCo that includes efforts to battle racial inequality and create opportunities for Black Americans. For instance, the company plans to expand its Black managerial roles by 30% by 2025 via internal development and recruitment. The Purchase, New York-based soda conglomerate plans to add more than 250 Black associates to managerial roles in the next five years, including adding at least 100 Black associates to its executive ranks.
Another PepsiCo initiative: Invest $50 million over five years to strengthen local Black-owned businesses.
In a letter Tuesday, PepsiCo CEO Ramon Laguarta talked about the company’s position on racial equality. He mentioned how the company has been thinking hard how it “can help dismantle the systemic racial barriers that for generations have blocked social and economic progress for Black people in this country. We know that the first step toward change is to speak up, so I want to be very clear: Black Lives Matter, to our company and to me.”
The company says its initiatives are part of a holistic effort to help address the need for systemic change.
Here are some other initiatives that PepsiCo plans to launch:
- Investing in accelerating PepsiCo’s support for social programs that impact Black communities. That includes backing Black-owned restaurants as part of its Small Businesses Program and launching a Community Leader Fellowship program for Black nonprofit CEOs.
- Accelerating its recruitment efforts with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and increasing partnerships with diversity organizations in core schools.
- Establishing scholarship support worth $25 million for students transitioning from 2-year to 4-year programs and scaling existing efforts to support trade/certificate and academic 2-year degrees through community colleges for 400 Black students per year. The funding will provide wrap-around support, including cash for books, transportation, and housing.
- Buying extra goods and services from diverse vendors. PepsiCo specifically says it will more than double its spending with Black-owned suppliers with an incremental spend of $350 million. The company plans to expand its supplier pipeline through advocacy and outreach. It will build supplier capability targeting growth across services, including agriculture, sustainable packaging, and operations.
- Supporting Black-owned restaurants as part of its Small Businesses Program, including mentoring, management training, and help obtaining financing.
- Investing $5 million to launch a Community Leader Fellowship program for Black nonprofit CEOs. The company says it will provide grants to participants’ organizations, executive education, and connections to PepsiCo leaders and partners.
- Using PepsiCo’s buying power to create more jobs for Black creators at its marketing agencies. The company will make them part of its content development. It calls for applying a Creative Agency Diversity Policy modeled on PepsiCo’s existing policy for the selection of legal services, including an annual audit.