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PepsiCo Pilots 'Climate-Friendly' Power-Efficient Vending Machines

Posted On: 3/30/2009

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Vending, Vending Machine, Coin-op, Pepsi, PepsiCo, Climate Friendly, Carbon Dioxide Refrigerant, Greener CO2, Beverage, Cold Drink

PURCHASE, NY -- PepsiCo has announced a groundbreaking pilot project to determine the practicality of what company officials describe as the most climate-friendly vending machines ever put on location in the United States.

The Pepsi Bottling Group (Somers, NY) is placing 30 of the new Pepsi-Cola venders in high-traffic areas of Washington, DC. The Dixie-Narco glassfront machines, manufactured by Crane Merchandising Systems, reportedly consume less energy than conventional equipment, generating 12% less greenhouse gas emissions than PBG's present machines.

The new venders use carbon dioxide (CO2) as a refrigerant gas, rather than hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). PepsiCo reports that this initiative marks the introduction of vending machines cooled by CO2 in the United States. They're branded with the recently updated Pepsi logo and a sticker that boldly communicates to patrons that the machine is "Cooled by Greener CO2."

"Many people don't realize that the largest part of a vending machine's greenhouse gas emissions -- about 95%, in fact -- comes from the energy required to run it," said Robert Lewis, vice-president of packaging and equipment development for PepsiCo. "The insulating foam and refrigerant gases are responsible for the rest, and we're committed to reducing all parts of the equation."

The current project is part of PepsiCo's broad commitment to reducing the environmental footprint of the vending and cooling equipment used to sell its drinks. Its 2008-model venders, all of which meet EPA Energy Star requirements, consume 51% less energy on average than the 2003 models. The beverage giant also mandates that the foam used to insulate its vending machines and coolers be free of HFCs.

In addition to the CO2-cooled machines included in the pilot program, PepsiCo is testing thousands of machines around the world that use other green refrigerants with a lower climate impact than HFCs, specifically isobutane and propane.

"We're constantly looking for ways to make our business more efficient and environmentally sustainable," Lewis emphasized. "This field test will help us evaluate the performance and reliability of these new machines in a real-world environment. We hope to get a sneak preview of what sustainable refrigeration could look like on a larger scale."