PepsiCo : Losing sparkle

Report data goes flat when left unrefreshed.

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The feature

PepsiCo, US-based food and non-alcoholic drinks company, has no explanation for leaving past-its-best report data on display. PepsiCo presents its corporate responsibility in a dedicated section of its corporate site titled Purpose. Its Reporting sub-section offers a page of KPI Highlights in six categories, including Responsible & Sustainable Sourcing and Human Sustainability. The data displayed covers multiple performance indicators for two years, 2009 and 2010. Reporting also has links to the 2010 Sustainability Reporting Summary, as does the Investors section. The company’s most recent annual report is dated 2011, with financial data up to and including 2011. In a page on its sustainability programme, Performance with Power, it states that a Corporate Sustainability Report is “scheduled for release later this year” and will provide “a more in-depth look at our progress… on our Performance with Power journey”. The publication was announced in a news release on 1 November 2011 and is clearly the one currently displayed in Reporting.

The takeaway

The upbeat, attractive and user friendly construction of PepsiCo’s Reporting section creates a compelling effervescence around its sustainability reporting, but rather like one of its trademark products left with the cap off for too long it is in danger of leaving a flat taste with anyone consuming it now. Even allowing for the time lag between publication of the annual report and the sustainability report it’s not at all clear why the first to be produced (the annual report) has more up-to-date data. Worse, it is subverting a potentially progressive feature – the cross-linking to Investors – by drawing the issue to the attention of time-sensitive analysts. There may be a perfectly valid reason for the slippage of sustainability coverage – and for why there was no follow-up report in November 2012. But if so, it needs to be explained and an indication given of when more recent evidence of “progress” will restore power to the performance picture.
First published 12 March, 2013
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